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Jacob Montgomery with Dexter at the home of a friend near Peoria, Ill. Montgomery and his 6-month-old puppy were reunited 9 days after a tornado destroyed their apartment (AP)
WASHINGTON, IL (AP) -
A six-month-old pit bull that was buried under a pile of rubble for
more than a week after a tornado ripped through a central Illinois city
has been coaxed to freedom with hot dogs and reunited with his owner.
Jacob Montgomery, a member of the Illinois National
Guard, was separated from the dog, Dexter, when the Nov. 17 tornado
destroyed his third-floor apartment in Washington. Montgomery combed
through the wreckage multiple times but turned up no sign of Dexter.
Nine days after the storm, a neighbor who was
looking for his cat, also missing, with the help of a group called
Rescuing Animals in Need sent Montgomery a Facebook message to tell him
Dexter had been found partially buried in debris where the apartment
building used to stand.
"He said, 'I've got your dog right here,'"
Montgomery recalled in a statement released by the Illinois National
Guard. "As soon as Dexter saw me, his tail started going."
The pooch was in relatively good shape.
"The vet said he has no real injuries - just a few
scrapes and cuts," said Montgomery, who got Dexter as a puppy to keep
him company when he moved from Champaign. "He was malnourished, but he's
going to be fine."
The Washington tornado was part of a band of heavy
storms that brought rain, high winds and a rash of twisters to Illinois,
and left seven people dead in its wake.
Montgomery has been a military police officer with
the Illinois Army National Guard for more than five years and is trained
to respond to emergencies. But he says he's never been the victim of
such a disaster.
"All I had in my apartment is gone, but my dog was all I really had to worry about," he said.
Montgomery is staying with a friend in nearby Peoria until he can find a new home.
Copyright 2013 The
Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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