Recovering Dog’s Nation Post Tornado
Anyone who’s experienced a tornado knows the moments before it actually hits are filled with a strange sense of calm. “The raindrops bounce off my head in rapid succession, said Rick Bassman, Founder of The Bully Dog Rescue Coalition. “I probably wouldn’t have noticed it had I not taken off my beanie just a few moments before when a near arctic chill had suddenly given way to a still, eerie warmth.”
Shortly after that, lightning filled the sky followed by the deafening clap of thunder. The pit bulls at Dog’s Nation began howling and before anyone could react and it quickly became apparent what was happening — it wasn’t just severe weather, it was a tornado.
Since arriving at Dog’s Nation in El Dorado Springs, Missouri on March 6, there have been three tornado warnings. Each unnerving not only for the team but also for all the pups who currently call Dog’s Nation Home.
Experiencing the first Tornado
Words From The Bully Dog Rescue Coalition Founder, Rick Bassman
“I first arrived in El Dorado Springs late in the afternoon. I was exhausted after driving 1,600 miles across the country with my pit bulls Ramone, GoGo and Eos. I was unsure exactly what to expect when arriving at Dog’s Nation. I had not yet been to the facility. I’d only spoken to the founder Shawn Abell on the phone before arriving.
When I reached El Dorado Springs, I started out by getting settled in my new residence which was in desperate need of repairs. I fed my pups and went out to the kennels to meet the more than 50 beautiful bullies.
Although it was obvious Dog’s Nation desperately needed help, Shawn gained my respect immediately. She’s a small woman who up until now, was running the facility almost single-handedly. Somehow she managed to keep it alive despite overwhelming odds.
After a few chores, I feel into a deep sleep with my pups beside me. Around 11 pm, I was awoken to a pounding on my door. Abnormally high winds were wreaking havoc on the property, and it was probable that a tornado would follow anytime.
I leapt out of bed, amazed that I had slept so soundly through all the wind, thunder and hail outside. Moments after we hit the ground, a tornado ripped through Dog’s Nation.”
Cleaning Up the DamageAfter the initial shock of the tornado wore off, it was time to begin repairing the structures. Dog’s Nation was already short on resources and in a way, this seemed like an impossible effort. Together, Dog’s Nation and The Bully Dog Rescue Coalition have used what’s available to get operations up and running again as quickly as possible. It was immediately noticed that a century-old oak tree had fallen on several of the kennels — crushing them in various degrees. Thankfully, none of the dogs were injured, but many were scared. One dog was trapped in the corner of his pen, but with a little teamwork, he was transported to a safe haven.
Looking to the Future
After having experienced this first hand, it’s even clearer just how important the partnership between Dog’s Nation and The Bully Dog Rescue Coalition really is. Funds raised for Dog’s Nation will go towards overhauling the property to help it withstand severe weather and to make it safer for all the pit bulls. Once overhauled, funds will go towards implementing new programs that will make Dog’s Nation sustainable for years to come.
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