Moore Oklahoma tornado: one call reunites six dogs with their thankful owner

IFAW’s Jennifer Gardner and ‘Batman’My first couple of days in Oklahoma, were filled with many happy reunions like Tinker's. But after the rush, it got quiet at the shelter.  

There were few people coming in and few phone calls for lost pets. The people of Moore, OK lost everything. As the community returns home, they must look through what is left of their house for important documents, treasured belongings, photographs…and then they help their neighbors do the same. 

In addition to their homes, some people lost their cars, their computers, and their phone chargers, yet they have to start contacting insurance companies and getting information on how to start rebuilding their lives.

I can’t imagine how exhausting it is to start from scratch after losing everything.

Every day we keep ourselves busy providing care and comfort to the pets that are waiting for their families to find them. We remain optimistic that more people will come in as soon as they can.

However, after more than 24 hours without a reunification, our spirits were starting to get a little low.

We were still feverishly looking through lost reports and finally found a potential match!

I called the woman who reported her dog missing, and after asking a couple of questions, it sounded promising. She then sent me a photo that displayed the blue pitbull’s white patch on her chest.

I ran back to the kennels, and our dog had the same uniquely shaped patch.  I called her back and said I was 99% sure we had her dog. She then told me that she had five other dogs that had also gone missing.

As she told me the names of her pets and described them to me, I knew that we had all of them!

We didn’t know we had 6 dogs from the same house! I was so excited to tell all of the staff and volunteers to start saying their goodbye’s to not just one dog, but six!

I said my goodbye’s to 'Batman' and helped load him into the car with his whole family, human and canine. His human family lost their house entirely, but thanks to friends, relatives and a pet-friendly hotel, their family had a sense of home and could start to rebuild.


Read Jennifer's previous post from Oklahoma about reuniting families with their pets here.

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Senior Program Advisor
Senior Program Advisor
Brian Sharp, Emergency Relief Officer, Stranding Coordinator
Manager, Marine Mammal Rescue and Research
Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
Director, France and Francophone Africa
IFAW Veterinarian
Katie Moore, Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Deputy Vice President, Conservation and Animal Welfare
Loïs Lelanchon, Animal Rescue Program Officer
Animal Rescue Program Officer
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
Consulting Senior Advisor to the CEO on Strategic Partnerships & Philanthropy