After a deadly tornado destroyed her home, a dog was found curled up in her dead owner’s arms, while his wife was lying close by amid the wreckage.
Now the Great Pyrenees dog, who lost everything in the May 11 tornado which hit her home in Van, Texas, has found a new family, who hopes to rehabilitate her, both emotionally and physically.
The canine’s new owner, Michelle Shockley, of Tyler, Texas, explains that little is known about the dog’s history, not even her name, but she seems to be about eight years old. Shockley renamed her Emma.
1. A Great Pyrenees dog (pictured) was rescued after a deadly tornado struck her owners’ home and killed the couple. She was found in the arms of her dead owner by a 14-year-old neighbor.
Having suffered head trauma and other injuries during the tornado, Emma has a long road to recovering lying ahead of her. A burst eardrum has made her deaf in one ear and her skin is raw and bruised.
However, Shockley, who along with her parents adopted Emma, said she wants to help the dog heal. She told The Huffington Post:
My mom and I agreed that we would set her birthday at her survival date. That is the day her life changed. It helps us honor the lives of her owners that perished in the tornado. Trust me, I cry a lot.
Emma and about a dozen other pets who were affected by the tornado were taken in by the group Nicholas Pet Haven after the devastation struck.
Nicholas Pet Haven founder Cindy Nash says that the pets will all be up for adoption and that most of them seem well. Emma seemed to be the one worst affected by the event. Nash told Huffington Post:
She has the saddest face and is absolutely traumatized. You can’t help but cry when you look at her and just want to sit and hold and love her.
2. The dog was taken in by Nicholas Pet Haven and later adopted by Michelle Shockley and her parents, who renamed her Emma.
Emma was taken in by Shockley as soon as she could legally take her from the shelter and Shockley said the two had an “instant connection”. She said:
I crawled up into the pickup bed and opened the crate and started loving on her. Within a minute, she had come out of the crate and laid in my lap.
Dr. Gary Spence, of Spence & White Veterinary Hospital in Tyler, Texas, said that with enough time and treatment Emma will recover.
She has several veterinarian appointments in the near future, primarily to help her raw skin heal.
The dog doesn’t have much appetite, has been getting a lot of sleep and has only been going outside when someone goes with her.
3. Emma was found in the arms of her owner, retired police officer David Tapley (left), with his wife Brenda lying nearby, after the storm. She suffered head trauma and a burst ear drum during the storm and was left with raw and bruised skin.
Shockley and her parents own another dog, Bentley, to whom Emma seems to be warming up. She’s even started to recognize her new name. Shockley said:
She deserves anything she wants. I believe all animals deserve that second chance at finding a happy life.
More than 40 people were hurt in Van, Texas, during the tornado, which caused about $40 million worth of damage. David and Brenda Tapley were the only casualties, KXAN reports. Emma alone survived the storm in her home — the couple and their two other dogs all died.
The Tapleys’ lifeless bodies, along with Emma, were found by a 14-year-old neighbor, according to CBS.
4. Shockley and her parents want to help Emma heal from the emotional and physical injuries she suffered during the violent tornado.
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