Dogs Told Joplin Man Tornado Coming

Ken Ayton credits canines for saving life
By Julia Lane, May 2011, Updated February 2015

Joplin resident Key Ayton was working in his garage during what seemed like a typical thunderstorm this past Sunday. It wasn't until his dogs started "going crazy," that he knew this was more than a little rain. He quickly ushered them inside then heard the tornado sirens. That extra time gave him a chance to jump in the bathtub and ride out one of the scariest moments of his life. Ayton and his dogs survived a tornado that was a half-mile wide and destroyed everything in its six-mile-long path. At least 89 people were killed; many remain missing. While rescue teams search for human survivors, local humane organizations are rescuing displaced animals. They need monetary and food donations, plus foster homes to care for lost pets and displaced pets whose owners need time to get back on their feet. A Facebook group has been started to help reunite owners with lost pets.

Tags: 

Julia Lane owns Spot On K9 Sports, a training facility in the Chicago area, and offers online dog-sport coaching. She is the author of several travel books, and her byline has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets & Writers and elsewhere.