A tornado damaged an entire town in eastern Oklahoma, but it also left behind an incredible photo album of people and pets that lives on in people’s minds.
For decades, the town of Lander has been a destination for pet owners to take in their pets after a tornado ripped through the town on June 24, 2018.
Many of the pets were torn from their homes and transported to a shelter for the night.
But when the storm passed, the pets all had to find a new home.
On Monday, the owners of Landers pet store, Kato’s Pet Shop, started an online campaign to help bring back their beloved pets.
A Facebook page was created with the hashtag #bringbackthelanderpet, and volunteers were going door-to-door in Lander and surrounding areas with posters handing out stickers with the pet owners’ pictures and stories.
Kato’s pet shop is the oldest in Lonergan, which sits on the banks of the Oklahoma River, and the shop was built in the 1930s.
The store’s owners say the tornado tore down their entire storefront, leaving behind only a few windows.
“I think I’m still in shock that it happened and the dogs went up in the windows,” said Linda Lander, who has been keeping dogs at her shop since she was a child.
“It was so devastating.
But you know, I’ll take it.”
Lander is located on the Oklahoma/Mississippi border, near the border of Texas and Arkansas.
Lander is about a half-hour drive from Oklahoma City, which was struck by another tornado last week.
Lander has hosted pet adoptions since the tornado and has even hired a local police officer to help in the search for the missing pets.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” Lander said.
“I think we’re going to be able to do this for years.”
For more on the tornado, visit the Associated Press’ website at https://apnews.com/articles/tornado-takes-control-of-lander-s-shelters-facebook-page.