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Dog, owner reunited after being ripped from home by tornado

Posted at 11:36 PM, May 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-19 23:36:03-04

GRANBURY, TX (WTVR) — Several tornadoes tore through Granbury, Texas, Wednesday night, leaving six dead and several missing. Now, after all have been accounted for, the people of Granbury are beginning to attempt to pick up the pieces of what the EF-4 tornado left behind.

Granbury resident Jerry Shuttlesworth held onto his companion Junior, a six-year-old pitbull, while they waited for the tornado to pass, taking cover in the laundry room of his mobile home. Shuttlesworth recalls frightening memories of the nightmare.

"I said, 'Junior, it'll be okay.' And I was praying," Shuttlesworth said. "The only thing I can figure out is I went upside down holding onto him, and he was no more."

Shuttlesworth ended up being thrown from his home. He was badly injured, but said that all he could think about was Junior's whereabouts and well-being.

"I just laid there and I prayed for Junior, and I prayed, 'God, please protect my puppy."

Junior wasn't the only dog lost; as many as 200 dogs were found without their families. Many of them are being sent to a shelter, where volunteers are working hard to reunite them with their owners. Junior got lucky when one of the volunteers recognized him from a post on a Facebook page set up specifically to help owners find their pets. When Shuttlesworth got the call that Junior was alive and well, he rushed to pick him up.

Shuttlesworth lost everything he owned, including his home. All that remained after the destruction was his truck and Junior. Still, he is grateful to be alive and reunited with his best friend.

"We're back together. It's okay, now," Shuttlesworth said.