By Michael Suarez
VON ORMY—We all know the hail storm and winds that lashed our small town, we all saw the damage to our homes and to our neighbor’s homes, but did you know what happen to the least of us?
Here at the Von Ormy animal shelter we have many animals of various shapes and sizes, from Chihuahua’s to Tom cats we care for them all the same loving way EVERY day rain or shine. Today did not seem to be any different than before, but we were all in for the shock of our lives. Most of our animals are allowed to roam free and intermingle with each other to make sure that they are ready for adoption, a new lease on life. New arrivals are in 6 by 10 chain link kennels until they are ready to join the “pack”.
The small pitter patter of rain began as I was just getting out of the shower, my wife, born in Michigan, was shocked to see all the activity the impending storm started in the animals causing them to be wild with anxiety. Of course after the small hail came down, the large damaging winds came, with a torrent of hail that started to tear through the rain flies that protect them from the rain and sun. Dogs that normally are tame and timid start to bark and attack the fences trying to escape the deadly hail stones. Grabbing a quit my mother had made many years ago, I shielded my head and ran into the tempest to toss the puppies into the house. As I extended my hands out to grab pups the hail actually hurt every single time it hit me. A sudden gust of wind tore the quit away from me; I could not stand in the winds that were swirling around me.
The winds increased, after securing the puppies I heard a strange sound, it was a 200 plus pound kennel being whipped into the sky by the winds. At that moment the world seemed to be moving in all directions at once, animals were screaming in terror, the noise was so loud I could not even hear my wife screaming something to me, I told her to stay away from the windows as the tempest reached its crescendo. Then as quickly as it raged into the area, the storm subsided.
The aftermath of the storm was bad enough in property damage, but in the costs of lives here it was devastating. The kennels had rolled from the high winds, crushing many to death; the hail had pelted many animals’ senseless. Many animals frightened by all the activity turned on each other in a mindless rage, the cries of the hurt and dying still echo in my ears. I could go on and describe this horror story in detail, I still see it in my nightmares, but instead let me tell you the part of the story that will make your heart soar.
After the night we helped people cover their windows, move trees off the road and help the people that needed it we dreaded the clean up at the shelter. Morning brought us hope and help in the form of fellow rescues. Some of these people I have never met in person, just like minded people that wanted to help us help the animals. We had people tend the wounded, intern the dead, and clean. People searched for the lost, collected the missing dog houses, remove the wasted food. Rescues like “New Leash on Life”, “Homeward Bound”, “Tri-City Animal Sanctuary”, “P.A.W.S” ,”Katie’s Roadside Rescue”, “Los Lomas”, “Kim’s Acre’s” and countless others. Also people that put the plea out on the internet that I had lost all my dog food, the people that donated food and money to make us whole again. People reached out to us in our time of need to restore us so we could keep going on and saving lives.
To the many people that donated to make us whole again we thank you from the bottom of our hearts, with every animal we save we honor your donations, with every dog or cat we place in a forever home is another “thank you” from one that have no voice other than ours. We have weathered the storm, we mourn the dead, heal the wounded, but we are stronger because of it. Thank you from the Von Ormy Animal Control, and “Hope for Dogs”.