Jonathan Byler Dann's home was among the 400 lost to the tornado that ravaged Washington, Ill., on Sunday, but a discovery yesterday made for a beautiful silver lining.
Maggie, Byler Dann's 11-year-old dog who was thought to have perished during the disaster, was discovered alive in the rubble of his home.
The father of four had attempted to shelter Maggie
along with his wife and kids in their basement, but the frightened
pooch wouldn't leave her kennel, according to Weather.com's exclusive
story. When the family finally surfaced, Byler Dann feared the worst for
Maggie -- but after digging through the remains of the building the
next day, he found her injured but in stable condition beneath the debris.
But the happy ending doesn't end there. Hours
after photos of Byler Dann and Maggie were posted to Reddit, the online
community began to pitch in to cover her medical expenses.
"A dislocated hip is pretty expensive to fix (like
$1000). Does he need help with funds?" user Tryptophanatic asked. The
Redditor, who appears to have been in contact with Byler Dann and his
family, set up a fundraiser, and money began pouring in.
The donations quickly met and exceeded
Maggie's costs, and the remaining funds are now being used to help other
animals at the clinic where she was treated and at shelters in the
A Facebook page called 'Illinois Tornado Animals Lost & Found' is helping survivors locate their missing pets.