Joplin, Missouri Dog Owner Holds Hope of Finding Dog After TornadoPublished December 29, 2011
Neither will Kari Wilkes ever forget that day. She not only lost her home, but her beloved American Bulldog, Hanah, was ripped from her arms by the monster storm as they both sought shelter in her closet. As she has related on her Facebook page, Bring Hanah Home, and told numerous media outlets, she was holding the door with one hand and trying to hold Hanah with the other.
The storm proved to be too powerful. The door and Hanah were literally both sucked into the cyclone.
A few days later, someone saw a flier she had posted with Hanah’s picture and sent her a photo of her dog taken after the storm. The caller told Wilkes someone in a black SUV with a logo on it had picked up her dog.
Wilkes searched the local humane society, which took in more than 1,300 lost pets after the storm. When all leads proved fruitless, she put up a Facebook page, hoping one of the hundreds of rescues or thousands of volunteers who descended on Joplin to assist after the storm had her furry family member.
More than 11,300 people have “liked” the page and joined what Wilkes calls “Hanah’s Army” to find her “Fat Girl,” as Wilkes nicknamed her Hanah.
Throughout the summer and fall, Wilkes and her friends and family, as well as the army of volunteers posted fliers, sent fliers to rescues, contacted anyone who would listen and tried to keep Hanah’s story alive in the media.
By December, the multiple daily posts dwindled to a couple a week.
Anyone who has ever had a pet and especially anyone who has ever had a lost pet can relate to Wilkes’ determination to find her girl.
Wondering if your dog or cat is alright, if they’re being cared for keeps pet parents of lost animals up at night. Not knowing becomes more tormenting than even the possibility of knowing the worst.
Wilkes recently told a local news crew that she is not giving up. Although leads have dried up once again and the original caller has stopped responding to messages and even disconnected his number, Wilkes says she knows someone knows something.
Wilkes keeps Hanah’s page going. She hopes that she will once again be able to hold her "Fat Girl" and she is willing to pay a handsome reward for anyone who returns Hanah - $2,500 - no questions asked.
Although the reality at this point is that Hanah may never come home, Wilkes still keeps her pup's bowl in the spot that once was the garage, just in case.
As long as Wilkes has hope, the search will continue.