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Animals Caught In East Texas Tornadoes Being Treated And Reunited With Owners

Stella M. Chávez
Bill Hill, founder of Spay Neuter Network, and her team were busy over the weekend helping with animal rescue efforts in Canton.

Animals are among the victims of this weekend’s East Texas tornadoes. Rescue groups and vets have been busy searching for and treating four-legged survivors.

Soon after the tornadoes struck, Bonnie Hill got a call from an animal rescue group. Hill is the founder of Spay Neuter Network in Crandall between Dallas and Canton. She and her team -- including a vet – brought their mobile unit to a shopping center parking lot in Canton.

Folks brought by their pets – most had scratches and other minor injuries. One Labrador had a puncture wound on the face. She was treated and sent home with the owner.

The tornadoes cut a wide and long swath of destruction, across fields where livestock graze.

“While our vet was waiting for us, there was a cow that came in, I guess, with two broken legs that went right to a large animal clinic to be fixed,” Hill said.

Because cows can’t survive with broken legs, she said it was likely euthanized. A number of dogs let loose by the storm were reunited with their owners.

Hill said animals, like humans, need immediate attention after a storm.

“Obviously 911’s responsibility and first responder rescues is to find people. I mean that’s their number one goal,” she said. “And so we’re here just in case that there are owners or people who are out looking can find dogs that we can help them because, I mean, we know that there are animals out there who are lost and need help.”

The Texas A&M Veterinary Emergency Team is now overseeing vet duties for the area and has set up shop at a local middle school.

Spokeswoman Angela Clendenin said the team is scheduled to be there through Tuesday. The emergency team is working with local vets as well as shelters, which are taking in pets who haven’t been reunited with their owners.

She says anyone looking for their beloved furry animal should check local shelters first.

Stella M. Chávez is KERA’s immigration/demographics reporter/blogger. Her journalism roots run deep: She spent a decade and a half in newspapers – including seven years at The Dallas Morning News, where she covered education and won the Livingston Award for National Reporting, which is given annually to the best journalists across the country under age 35.