Rex, a yellow Labrador, is quite the lucky dog. After sustaining life threatening injuries in the torrent of tornadoes that struck east Texas in April and spending months in rehab paid for through the generosity of strangers, he came home to his family this week.
A multitude of devastating twisters tore through three east Texas counties, most notably in the Canton area, on April 29. They left a path of destruction roughly 35 miles long and 15 miles wide. Furious winds flung 11-year-old Rex and his dog house 30 feet up into the air before crashing down.
The violent storms killed four people, injured dozens more, and displaced families, including Rex’s owners, the Easley family, who lost their home. The governor declared a state of disaster. In the aftermath, rescuers combed through the debris of destroyed houses searching for injured people and their pets. One first responder spotted the dog’s house lodged high above in a tree. Quickly, they found Rex on the ground below, unconscious.
He was one of the several dogs initially taken in by Nicholas Pet Haven, a local non-profit animal shelter that raises funds to cover vet bills for injured animals. According to the Tyler Morning Telegraph, they rushed Rex to their veterinarian partner, Dr. Gary Spence, who provided emergency treatment. However, the lab experienced severe head trauma, internal injuries, one dislocated knee, and two broken legs, one in which large portions of the bone shattered. “We are unfortunately going to need some help on that one, it’s an orthopedic surgery,” said Spence.
Then, Second Chance Farm, a unique animal shelter and sanctuary in Granbury that cares for injured, abused, physically handicapped, aged, and unwanted often homeless animals, stepped in and offered long-term help to the Easleys for Rex’s recovery.
Breitbart Texas spoke to Sandi Walker, the founder of the nonprofit Second Chance Farm, who said she learned about Rex when someone sent her the article in the Tyler newspaper. “I asked them to contact the dog’s owner while I texted my vet that night. We all agreed to take him on as a rehab.”
Walker said she made the calls the next day and picked up Rex shortly thereafter. “The rest,” she said, “is history.”
As Second Chance Farm does with their other animals, they shared Rex’s story on the organization’s Facebook page and donations poured in from people from around the world Walker told Breitbart Texas.
For more than two months, the lab remained at Second Chance Farm where he underwent two surgeries, one to amputate the unsalvageable mangled front leg and the other to place a pin in one of his back legs, according to KLTV.
Second Chance Farm continued to chronicle the pup’s progress. Rex went viral. Many followed his recovery as he relearned how to walk which included intense swim therapy.
Finally reunited with Rex on Sunday, Easley family son Cody was thrilled to have his dog back.
Easley told KLTV: “He is not the dog that he was before, but he’s definitely a lot better than I found him, and I’m definitely happy to see him, happy to spend time with him. Hopefully, I’ll get some more years out of him because he’s one of the best dogs I’ve ever had and I love him.”
He added that Second Chance Farm offered Rex long-term rehab, as needed, and, even, a wheelchair, if necessary.
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