See end of article for update
A dog who was carried away by a killer Alabama tornado in late April had such a will to make it home that he crawled back to his house with two shattered front legs. It took the terrier mix more than two weeks to get there.
Mason’s owners had pretty much given him up as dead, so they were shocked to see him on the front porch of their home Monday, when they were visiting to sort through the debris.
But you will find no joyous footage of happy reunions accompanying this story. With everything Mason’s owners had been through themselves because of the tornado, they decided they could not deal with an injured dog and all the expensive medical care he would need. So they gave him over to the local animal shelter.
(It’s my impression that they didn’t hand him over blindly, thinking he might be euthanized, but that they gave him over with the knowledge that he would get care there and that at some point they could either take him back or he could find a new home. We don’t know their story or circumstances, so please think twice before condemning them in the comments — hard as it may be to imagine giving up your dog in similar circumstances.)
I wonder what Mason went through with his painful, floppy front legs, how he felt when he finally arrived at his front door, and what it was like for him to be taken to a shelter after all of that. Fortunately he seems to be in fantastic hands with the people at the Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control shelter, and at the Vulcan Park Animal Care Clinic, which is donating a “bed” and surgery to Mason. In the video below, it appears he is happy, and getting the attention and medical care he needs.
“This is probably the most dramatic we’ve seen as far as an injury in an animal that’s survived this long,” said the shelter’s Phil Doster. “For an animal to go through what he’s gone through and not to be ugly, to be happy for any companionship is remarkable. We’re honored to be part of his recovery.”
Update 5/26 – We’ve had a lot of reaction to this story. Many of you defended the owners’ actions, while many of you thought they were heinous. We now have an update, via Yahoo News.
Mason is “doing fantasic” after his May 20 surgery where metal plates were attached to his bones so they could heal, Doster told The Lookout in an email. “Weare excited that he will be going back to his family and to the home where he finally returned after 3 weeks,” he wrote. Mason is expected to be able to walk completely normally after he recovers in about six weeks, though his front legs will be a bit shorter than his back legs. Mason’s family has requested to not be named in the media, Doster added, but they are “very excited” for Mason to come home when their house is again inhabitable in about five weeks.
I’ll keep you posted for reunion news.