The Wizard of Oz jokes write themselves, but Duke the dog’s dangerous ordeal is no laughing matter.
According to WREG News Channel 3, the 12-year-old senior Australian shepherd was picked up and carried 1,000 feet by a tornado that struck down in Davie County, North Carolina, three weeks ago. The twister threw the pup hard, resulting in numerous injuries.
“Picked up in the mass of the swirling wind, picked up and tossed just like a ragdoll,” said Duke’s owner, Lewis Vannoy. “When I got to him, he was across the road in the pasture. He could hardly walk. He was in severe pain. He was lethargic and crying.”
The courageous canine survived, but suffered a broken leg in multiple places and a damaged retina. He’s since had a few surgeries and has spent a lot of time at the vet, but is expected to make a full recovery. Vannoy also has a horse who was injured but survived the storm.
However, the man’s home was not so lucky; it is too damaged to fix.
“Thirty-five years to build it, 35 seconds to destroy it … home, barns, garage, tractors, lawn mowers, there’s nothing here that doesn’t have damage on it,” said Vannoy, who thinks it will take a year or two to clean up his property.
Still, the man and his best furry friend are happy to be alive. “I ain’t giving up,” he said. “I’ll build another house and we will make more memories.”
If you live in a state where tornadoes tend to strike, the Humane Society has advice on how to prepare and keep your pets safe:
- Bring your pets inside.
- Keep emergency pet supplies in a tornado-proof room or basement.
- Make sure pets are wearing collars and identification tags at all times. Also have them microchipped.
- Practice bringing pets into the tornado-safe room.
- Be sure the tornado-safe area is pet friendly.
- If you must evacuate, take your pet and emergency pet supplies with you.
- After the tornado, take special care of your pet.
For more information on tornadoes and pet safety from the Humane Society, click here now.