JACKSBORO, Texas – More than a dozen stray animals survived the EF-3 tornado that hit the shelter they were staying in this week, thanks in part to a local animal control officer who never left his side.
On Wednesday, while crews across the city continued to work to restore power to the huge area of Jacksboro damaged by Monday’s tornado, Michael Booher returned to the now-destroyed animal shelter, where he withstood the storm that afternoon.
“This is the animal shelter we had,” Booher said as he crouched under the twisted metal and tiptoed through the rubble to pick up some of his supplies from inside.
When that tornado hit the outskirts of the city on Monday, Booher, Jacksboro City’s animal control officer, said it was parked in front of the shelter’s dirt road entrance right next to U.S. Highway 380. he was doing. his work as a local emergency worker, detecting storms and trying to warn as far in advance as possible of the approaching city.
He said the talk on his radio was that the storm was changing as he drove through Jack County, and as he looked out the windshield of his van, he quickly confirmed that Jacksboro appeared to be on the road.
“It was so cloudy with rain. All I could see was just a wall of water,” Booher said.
The wind rose quickly with the rain wall pressing against him, and Booher said that before he knew it, the telltale signs of a tornado were watching him and his coat.
“When the rock hit the windshield, I just crouched down,” Booher said.
Chaos surrounded Booher for a moment, but he said that as fast as the storm was upon him, he had passed by and looked up to realize that the winds were moving his entire truck across the dirt terrain.
Booher said that once he turned, he looked up to see that the animal shelter had been shattered by the storm, and his thoughts went quickly to the 11 dogs and four puppies inside.
“That’s when I went out to see how the dogs were and everything,” Booher said.
Although the roof was essentially ripped from the small building, cages and debris were whipped around it, Booher said he quickly found some relief as two of the dogs in the shelter escaped from their cages and waited anxiously in the entrance door. to keep them away from chaos.
The longtime officer made his way through the clutter and into the building, noticing along the way that the shelter trailer had also been moved by the winds to the fence surrounding the shelter, and the kennels that normally sat in a row outside were now . piled on his back. However, when he finally entered, he found another relief.
“Most of them were still in their enclosures,” said Booher, who found the 15 dogs alive and well. “They were like, get me out of this.”
That’s exactly what Booher did. He said the nearby Springtown Animal Shelter welcomed animals that needed a new place to stay, and the principals even got four of the dogs adopted as early as Wednesday. The four puppies went straight to the adopters as well, just ahead of schedule.
Booher said a volunteer also found a stray cat blind among the wreckage on Tuesday and rescued him, calling him Nado after the storm he had just survived.
While this is good news for all animals and for their human protector from that bad storm, the news for the shelter building is not so good.
Booher said the building was likely to be a loss, though he hoped some parts of the property could be rescued to eventually house an animal quarantine facility for the city. Fortunately, he said city leaders have been looking for time to build a completely new shelter right on the current road, and said the land has even been bought. The storm can speed up those plans.
“You go through a lot of things and this was one that I probably don’t want to go through again,” Booher said with a laugh.
However, he is happy that his animals and his community have survived the massive storm with no casualties. Booher said they will find their new way in the little shelter they adore.
A Jacksboro officer rescues animals from the Tornado Torn shelter
Source link A Jacksboro officer rescues animals from the Tornado Torn shelter