Book Chronicles Pets Reunions With Families Following OK Tornadoes

Sunday, May 18th 2014, 6:20 pm
By: News 9

The Central Oklahoma Humane Society took in 151 dogs and cats after the May tornadoes last year, 88 of which were reunited with their families.

Now, a book highlighting those emotional reunions is unveiled on Sunday with a "paw" signing at Full Circle Bookstore at 1900 N.W. Expressway in Oklahoma City.

"The community rallied together for everyone, not just humans, but the animal population as well and we wanted to show the world that," said Amy Shrodes with the Central Oklahoma Humane Society.

The 60-page, hardcover coffee table book was a joint project between OK Humane and the Ad2OKC, which donated their services. The book chronicles stories of cats and dogs reunited with their families after the EF-5 tornado barreled through Moore. 

"The stories still make me cry," said Shrodes. "Every time you read it, when you open the book, just the photos alone you can really tell the bond that people have with their pets in the book."

The book includes Achilles' story.

"I guess as soon as the walls opened up, he just bolted," said owner Gerry Mobley.

Mobley thought he lost Achilles forever after the tornado. He said he couldn't get Achilles to get into the shelter, so he secured him in a bathroom, and then went underground.

"I looked at my wife when we were in the shelter and said ‘it's all gone,' he said.

And it was. Mobley said when they came out, his home was gone and so was Achilles. Or so they thought. Two days later, he was found safe in a shelter.

"To get the animals back after the devastation that happened, I guess they were meant to be with us," Mobley said.

Briarwood Elementary School teacher Amy Shorter lost her cat Taters after the storm as she recalls May 20.

"It had gotten so bad that I knew it was coming and one of the teachers walked in [my classroom] and she said ‘it's here,'" Shorter said. "At that moment is when I just kind of went into automatic mode."

Shorter remembers acting as a human shield over several kindergarteners at Briarwood that day, coming out with only a concussion. The students she shielded survived, as did her own children, however, she lost her home and her cat Taters.

"I've had Taters since before I had kids so Taters was my original baby," she said.

Miraculously, Taters was found alive among the rubble.

"We can recover and we can be fine because everybody's together," Shorter said. "Our family is back together."

Full Circle donated all profits of the book sold Sunday to OK Humane. It goes on sale to the public on Tuesday for $59.99 plus tax with all proceeds going to OK Humane.

The book will be available at the OK Humane Adoption Center located at 7500 N. Western Ave. in Oklahoma City and on