Kentucky Tornado Victim Recalls Searching Through Debris for Missing Pets

by Clayton Edwards
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In Mayfield, Kentucky, one tornado victim came home to find her house destroyed and her pets missing. She immediately started searching for them amid the rubble left by the deadly storm.

Stephanie Matheny was in nearby Paducah, Kentucky when a tornado ripped through her hometown of Mayfield. She was attending her company Christmas party with her husband and some friends. However, when the storms rolled in, she decided to cut the festivities short. Her four pets were at home and she didn’t want them to have to weather the storm alone. Matheny had no idea just how bad things were in Mayfield.

She learned about the destruction on her way home. According to People, a friend contacted Matheny a few minutes into her drive. Matheny’s concern for her pets grew as the Kentucky resident learned of the tornado that devastated Mayfield. No amount of concern would make her foolhardy enough to drive into a tornado, though. So, she and her husband pulled into the parking lot of Paducah’s Walmart and waited for the storm to pass.

Matheny’s Search for Her Pets After the Mayfield, Kentucky Tornado

As Matheny drove into town, it was pitch black, the power was out across Mayfield. The trees alongside the road stuck in her memory. “Trees were just bent. It looked like someone just took a hedge trimmer and just chopped the top of them off.” Her home wasn’t in a better state. “My house was lifted off its foundation and moved fifty feet. And all my walls were caved in. Part of the front of my house is on my car and my husband’s car.”

Matheny told People that she can’t have children. As a result, her pets are like her babies and when she saw her Kentucky home in ruins she feared she had lost them to the tornado as well. “My four fur babies were at home. I’ve lost everything and they’re my babies.”

With help from her cousin and a neighbor named Paul, Matheny searched for her dog and three cats. In the end, the Kentucky resident found three of her pets. Her Huskador named lady and two tabby cats named Meeko and Athena are safe and sound. Her third cat, Dinah, is still missing.

Lady was under a pile of rubble. Walls, the kitchen sink, and a stove lay on top of the dog. Luckily, a heater kept the debris from crushing Matheny’s beloved pooch. In the end, the husky-lab mix was completely untouched by the storm.  

After finding two of her cats and seeing how close she came to losing her dog, Matheny was grateful. About this, she said, “God is so good, honey. God is so good.”

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