Fifty minutes. That’s all it took for a mile-wide tornado with wind speeds as strong as 210 mph to destroy hundreds of homes and businesses in and around the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore. The devastating storm injured more than 200 people and killed at least 24, as well as left multitudes of people and animals without homes.
As survivors begin to dig their way out and sort through the wreckage, a dedicated group of volunteers and animal lovers has rallied to help reunite displaced pets with their families.
Via the Moore Oklahoma Tornado Lost and Found Animals Facebook page, volunteers have been working nonstop since the storm to post and share photos and descriptions of wayward animals including cats and dogs as well as birds and livestock.
If you live in the area and you’ve lost a pet, the Lost and Found Animals page recommends posting a good color photo and/or a good description, including details such as collars, markings, and microchips. Be sure to include your city, state, and neighborhood. Your post will be shared, so include contact information.
If you’ve found a pet, the group recommends posting all of the same information but not a photo. According to the page, "people take advantage of tragedies such as this and try to claim pets that are not theirs," so people must describe their pets before claiming them.
Thanks to tireless networking and sharing, the volunteers’ efforts have led to numerous happy reunions in the wake of the disaster.
If you don’t live in the area but still want to help, many organizations in need of donations are linked on the Moore Oklahoma Tornado Lost and Found Animals Facebook page. One easy way to help overall relief efforts is to text REDCROSS to 90999, which donates $10 to American Red Cross Disaster Relief.
And if you haven’t cried yet today, check out this video of an elderly woman finding her lost dog amidst the rubble of her home during a television interview. Seriously — get out your tissues.
- Animal Resource Center Inc. is offering shelter to people and pets displaced by the storm.
- The OKC Lost Pets blog is also helping reunite people with their pets.
- RedRover Relief offers financial assistance for emergency veterinary care.
- The Oklahoma Humane Society is working to treat, shelter, and return lost pets to their families.
Top image by Shutterstock.com; all other photos from the Moore Oklahoma Tornado Lost and Found Animals Facebook page.