News 9 Reunites Moore Tornado Survivor With Dog


Sunday, May 18th 2014, 1:44 pm
By: News 9


Dozens of animals went missing after the deadly tornado in Moore. Some animals were taken to shelters while others were being taken in by complete strangers.

News 9's Michael Konopasek and photojournalist Michael Johnston became some of those strangers when they found a dachshund named Abby while they worked.

Abby was shaking when News 9 found her wandering the streets of debris. Her owner was nowhere to be found. The crew called the number on her tag, but there was no luck. So the search began.

Little Abby was as happy as could be 48 hours after being buried deep under debris. News 9 found Abby shortly after the tornado, and she stayed with Konopasek and Johnston as they worked.

The next day, Konopasek had no luck finding an owner, so he used the power of TV to tell News 9 viewers about the missing dog. Minutes later on Twitter, News 9 learned Abby's owner, Pam Chandler, was awaiting surgery at Integris Southwest Medical Center. So they stopped by with a reunion surprise.

"Once I knew [my mom] was OK … at that point she was asking about her dog, obviously," Pam's son Aaron Chandler said.

Aaron said Abby had been his mom's "third child" ever since he graduated high school, which is why he was so thankful Integris allowed the reunion at the hospital.

"Honestly, I think seeing Abby is better than any medicine they could give her," Aaron said.

Pam held Abby to protect her while Pam's arm was pinned and smashed under a heavy door.

"I held her so she could breathe the air up at the top," Pam said. "And then I just screamed. I honestly didn't think I would get out of this, so I'm … lucky."

Abby was lost in the chaos of disaster rescue and triage. That's when she found News 9.

The dog stayed with a family friend in Edmond until Pam was released from the hospital.