Dog Reunites With Owner After Surviving Illinois Tornado
An Illinois man who lost his home in Sunday's devastating tornado reunited with his dog after finding her buried alive in the ruins of his house 30 hours later.
Jon Byler Dann, 37, and his family survived the tornado by hiding in the basement of their home, but they were unable to coax their dog, Maggie, to join them in the safe room. When Byler Dann came up from the basement after the storm passed, he found that his house was completely destroyed and Maggie the dog was nowhere to be seen.
Byler Dann assumed Maggie died in the tornado and even posted on Facebook saying so. However, he did not quit searching. It was almost 30 hours later when friends heard a bark while helping Byler Dann sift through rubble.
Digging toward the sound, the search team found Maggie under piles of debris, wrapped in carpeting.
Despite the devastation to his house and surrounding neighborhood, Byler Dann was left in tears of joy just to be reunited with Maggie, an 11-year-old dog whom Byler Dann has had since she was a puppy.
"I felt intense relief and elation," Byler Dann said. "I'm very thankful and blessed to have my wife and my children. And finding my dog today was just unreal."
Byler Dann updated his Facebook page with the news: "Maggie is OK. She has a dislocated hip and is under sedation tonight. She was rolled up in a carpet that was from a different floor of our house than she was on. There was a lot of debris on top and a huge piece of [masonry]. So glad she is still with us!"
Byler Dann and Maggie quickly caught the attention of the Internet and the story of their happy reunion went viral.
On Reddit, user Tryptophanatic noted, "A dislocated hip is pretty expensive to fix (like $1,000). Does he need help with funds?" Tryptophanatic posted the name of the veterinary clinic where Maggie was being treated and donations poured in, easily covering the $2,400 needed for Maggie's surgery. The donations far exceeded Maggie's costs and are being shared with other animals affected by the tornado.