Couple reunited with dogs blown away in tornado

The Alfonso family and their dogs

April 27, 2011 8:30:20 PM PDT
A Fayetteville couple is reunited with their dogs that were blown away in the April 16 tornado.

Both dogs survived but it took a little police detective work to get one of the dogs back to its owners.

"The main thing was my dogs," Megan Alfonso said. "I was really upset about the dogs. The house is replaceable, but my dogs aren't so I'm thankful we found them."

Alfonso and her husband were out of town when the tornado struck, and a friend, Teresa Esparoza, was house sitting. Esparoza says as the roof of the home started to come off, she looked out the window. She saw the shed with the two dogs in it blown apart. She says the dogs literally flew away.

"When the tornado came around, it kinda made the roof of the shed go down and that's when it took the dogs up," Esparoza explained.

A couple of days later pit bull Prince was found at the animal shelter, but there was no sign of German Shepherd Raider.

It took Fayetteville officers, who were patrolling the neighborhood, to track down Raider.

"Three times we came by here [and] the dog would be in the living room even though there is no wall," Detective Stig Larson said. "When we tried to approach it, [it] would run away so we knew this house had significance to the dog."

The officers followed the German Shepherd into the woods. Later they took Alfonso to the place in the woods and she called Raider's name, who appeared limping.

Larson said as soon as the dog was back with his owners, he put the call out over the radio.

Now Alfonso and her dogs are a family again.

"Now they get to slobber all over me, and I don't even tell them to stop they get to have more fun," Alfonso said.

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