Dog Reunited With Family After He Went Missing During Tornado


Pongo could never forget his way home.

This nine-year-old basset hound and blue heeler mix went missing for nearly 2 1/2 weeks after a tornado damaged the Harris’ home and Pongo’s dog house in early February.

When the tornado hit the Arkansas house, Katresa Harris and her two children were inside the house with their other two dogs. But Pongo was outside, and he ran away during the storm when the tornado broke open the fence.

The family put up posters of Pongo and put them all over the city. They searched animal shelters and everywhere else to find their missing dog. Since they couldn’t live inside their house because of the extensive damage, they drove by everyday to check to see if he was there and to put out food and water for Pongo just in case he came by.

But this last Friday, Harris went back to the house to check to see if Pongo was there, and the dog poked his head out of the dog house and ran to his owners.

The Harris family took Pongo to the vet to make sure he was okay. Besides being dirty and hungry, Pongo was doing well after being missing for more than 2 weeks.

Harris said, “I knew he made it. We never gave up on him, that’s for sure.”

Even Harris’ brother carried Pongo’s leash in his pocket for a week and a half, in hopes that they would find Pongo.

According to the Humane Society of North Central Arkansas, Pongo was one of at least 30 animals in Baxter County reported missing afterward.

Rick Day, the president of the Humane Society, said, “As officials straightened things out and made the homes accessible, folks were able to find their pets. If anything came out of this, it’s that there’s a higher awareness of homeless pets and adoptions.”

Source: The Baxter Bulletin

13 Responses to “Dog Reunited With Family After He Went Missing During Tornado”

  1. Nora and Rufus says:

    GOOD DOG PONGO. And Blueheelers being known for their incredible intelligence, I would expect no less from the sweet eyed Pongo.

  2. Sharon says:

    I’m glad they kept going back to look for him. Never give up.

  3. Maria P says:

    Why wasn’t the dog in the house with the rest of the family? I hope he’s not one of these “outside” dogs.

  4. FrannyMom says:

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure things are pretty crazy when a tornado is headed your way. But I agree with MariaP: This would not have happened if the dog would have been inside with the family, where he belonged. Note that the Humane Society said 30 animals were missing after this storm and my guess is that most of them had been outside. Still, am glad the family kept up their search for Pongo and that he returned home.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It never fails. Each story must have a post that plays the blame game. I understand the need to do it: if we see the shortcomings in others it assures that bad things won’t happen to us. WE would never do …whatever the “crime” is.

    How about if we just celebrate the happy outcome? Is that too much to ask?

    By the way, I’ve been through a tornado. It turns “inside” into “outside” rather quickly.

  6. says:

    I agree with anonymous. Until someone is walking in the shoes of a tornado victim who can say anything? The bottom line is that they never gave up and were able to have their pet back. That is a great ending in itself.

  7. The Lioness says:

    I’m with anonymous, too. The article said he ran away when the fence was broken. It is possible the family WAS prepared and was trying to get him inside when he freaked out and ran away. Animals panic.

    He’s a beautiful dog. I’m so glad he’s back with his family!

    ~The Lioness

  8. kaefamily says:

    The MAIN point is that the Harris is caring dog owners. They never gave up on Pongo! What was there to blame?!!

  9. Diella says:

    Yes..the main point is that a family is reunited. I wish people would stop to think about all the possible factors that could have played a role in pongo being outside in the first place. There’s no way you could find blame if the time was taken to realize that. I know my dog has free access to go in and out of the backyard if he pleases so if this were my’s a big possibility that my dog would have been outside as well.

  10. Pam says:

    Diella, I agree. It’s too bad people assume something negative even in light of a very happy ending for the family and their dog. People should stop jumping to conclusions and making judgments without all the information. Many dogs have access to the outdoors within a fence yard. That doesn’t mean they are always outside or neglected in any way.

  11. mimi says:

    I agree with anonymous as well. love the happy ending :)

  12. Sharon says:

    During a tornado being inside or outside really doesn’t make much difference, it’s God’s will if you survive. The family lives in Arkansas people. To have a dog in your fenced in yard is not a crime.

  13. Linda's Cats says:

    Diella, great point. My folks house has a doggy door, cause thier dog LOVES the outside, is well trained, and is fenced in. He’s well cared for and most people would say a dog *should* be outside when he can be, if he is proteted by fences and such.

    one of those “outside” dogs? What large dog BELONGS inside? they belong outside.

    by the way CHILDREN get lost in teh chaos of storms. Not to be rude, but my order of thinking in that kind of chaos is “children” “spouse” THEN pets. tornadoes happen in moments. and generally, there is not any warning.

    why must people be so quick to blame others, and condemn them for living real lives in the real world where aweful things happen.

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