The Last Tornado Survivor

My new baby, Benny

Over the last few months, I've written several blog posts about the F5 tornado that devastated the city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama on April 27, 2010. 

On that tragic day back in April, I watched the news footage in horror... as a massive, violent tornado swept through the city of Tuscaloosa --a city I've loved all of my life-- wiping away nearly everything in its path.

Why do I love this particular town so much?

I was lucky enough to spend 4 incredible years of my life at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa (Roll Tide!). It was my home. During that time, I studied; I learned; I drank; and I lived. As far as life lessons go, I learned most of them there. And so much of who I am today... I became in Tuscaloosa.

For those reasons, and many more, Tuscaloosa holds a very special place in my heart.

But on April 27, so much of my special town was wiped away. Many residents lost everything. Many people and animals lost their lives. Suddenly, nothing was the same.

My new baby, Millie
Following the storm, I contacted my dear friends at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. It was obvious that they were completely overwhelmed by the massive number of storm animals suddenly in their care... but they never once complained. They handled this heartreaking, crisis situation like absolute pros, and I was so proud of my amazing friends.

At that time, I immediately offered to take the storm dogs in the worst condition... those that no other rescues would take. Tuscaloosa Metro was so gracious and appreciative for my help, and soon, I'd take 5 of their special needs tornado surivors into my care: Heidi, Wink, Catie, Tucker, and Marco. I'd also take Melody, a tornado survivor from the Huntsville, AL shelter.

Of course, these were the dogs with the biggest medical needs... and the largest vet costs. In addition... each dog's heart had been broken more than once in their life. So, obviously, this was an expensive, emotional undertaking for me. But honestly... it's one of the best decisions I've ever made.

So... you may be wondering why I'm writing about this again today...

Just before Thanksgiving, Kelley with the Tuscaloosa Metro shelter gave me a call. She said, "Ash, I know it's your craziest time of year, but I really need your help with 2 dogs. Is there any chance at all that you can make room for 2 more?"

I responded, "If you can give me until after the holiday, I'll try my best to figure something out..."

One of those dogs was the last tornado survivor still living in the shelter. The other was a male, who was no longer wanted by his family.

Well, if you know me... you already know that I "figured something out." Lucky Dog Rescue... would be taking 2 more...

And so... nearly 8 months after the storm, I made the decision to rescue the final tornado survivor, and another desperate male dog, from Tuscaloosa Metro.

Here are their stories...

Millie was the last tornado survivor at the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter. After the horrific storm nearly took her life, Millie ended up at the shelter. For the last 7 months, she's been waiting there... hoping for a family... with no luck.

Despite the horrors of her past, Millie is full of life, love, and hope. She's a spunky girl with tons of personality. She loves to run and play, but she's also content just to cuddle right by your side. Millie loves other dogs, children, and all people. Her only wish in life... is for a family of her own.

Millie is a young, female, mixed breed. She's small/medium in size, and absolutely adorable! However, Millie is heartworm positive, so she'll be starting treatment this week. Once her treatment is complete, she'll be spayed, fully vaccinated, heartworm negative... and ready for the family of her dreams...
*If you're interested in adopting my Millie, please fill out Adoption Application: http://www.petpardons.com/adoption

Benny was brought into the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter as a stray. Soon thereafter, the shelter was able to locate his owners... who said they no longer wanted him.

Even though Benny's only wish was to go home, his family denied his request. And ever since... he's been waiting... for someone to take him home again...

Benny is a 2 year old, male, American Bulldog mix. He's absolutely gorgeous and super-smart! Benny has tons of energy, and he loves to run and play with other dogs. He's also a big cuddle bug, who loves to snuggle on the couch. However, Benny can be quite the escape artist, so I'll be working with him to correct that behavior. He's neutered, fully vaccinated, and heartworm negative.

Now... he just wants to go home...

*If you're interested in adopting my Benny, please fill out Adoption Application: http://www.petpardons.com/adoption
I could really use help with Benny & Millie's vet costs. Please click the donate link below if you can help. Thank you!


  1. Poor Benny..he is STUNNING!! And people suck. The same thing happened with my new soon to be foster dog. She is a beautiful Rottie who found herself at our high kill shelter. Her “parents” were contacted and they turned her away, knowing she would be put down due to a lack of space. I don’t know how people sleep at night. Thankfully, our rescue intervened and she is now safe. Wishing all the best for sweet Benny. He is so my type of dog!

  2. Ashley, they are both so beautiful, but that Benny is screaming to me through the website. I can't adopt, but I can advocate for you and donate some, which isn't much, but a little is better than nothing. I wish I could do more and hope one day I can be more like you.

  3. Bless your heart for taking two more on!!! They are lucky to have you : )

  4. I don't understand how these people can just decide one day that they don't want their pets anymore! How heartless can you be? Poor Benny..... I'll bet he's wondering what he did wrong. I have 4 dogs, 3 of which became "inconveniences" for their owners. I took them in, and they're as much my babies as my 2 kids are! I wouldn't give them up for anything! I'm so glad for what you do Ashley. Thanks for caring so much for these wonderful animals when their irresponsible owners decide they can't be bothered anymore..... wish there were more people like you!

  5. As an Alabama Alum this totally melted my heart and brought me to tears. I am SOO thankful for you and Lucky Dog. Thank you for saving all those animals. I went back after the storm just to volunteer with them and it was OVERWHELMING to see how many animals they had. I hope both these dogs find amazing furever homes sooner rather than later, but I know for now, they're in good hands!


  6. God will Bless you many times over for the work you do. I hope that these two dogs can find a forever home, cannot imagine loosing my dog, then not wanting it back! Tears shed on that story!

  7. You are so wonderful. Its so rewarding to see people care about animals. Its the reason I wake up each day. I live for my animals and to help any in need. God bless you

  8. Twittering and using Facebook to hopefully help Benny get a new home.

  9. Ashley, you do so much for the animals and are to be commended. I am totally appalled at the way that Benny's owners said they didn't want him anymore. An animal is a lifetime commitment and not just something you throw away when you don't want it anymore. Our pets are no longer just pets, they are part of the family. These people don't even deserve an animal and I hope they get their just deserve. I will share both Millie and Benny on Facebook and network everywhere else. I know with everyone's help that both these wonderful dogs with find loving forever homes.

  10. They are in good hands now. Thank you for taking on these two dogs. Have you written a post about what it takes to treat a dog for heartworms? I'm sure many people don't understand what a long, costly process this is.


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