Dog Missing for 54 Days from Tornado is Reunited with Family

Bella a family dog to Eric and Faith Johnson went missing for close to two months after a harsh tornado struck their home area in Cookeville, Putnam County on March 3rd. A series of investigations finally bore fruit when she was spotted within the neighborhood’s environs and finally brought back home. Prior to the reunion, the Australian shepherd dog was last seen beckoning her owners from their sleep minutes before the tornado touched down on their apartment. Running for about 50 miles at an average speed of 175 mph the twister obliterated every structure on its path with an exception of 3 homes. Eric who quickly responded to Bella’s alert was able to sneak his wife and children into hiding at the nick of time. The four, took shelter inside their bathtub merely shielded from the impending chaos. The storm powered through thrusting the inhabitants 50 yards away from their home while splitting the carrier into half. Miraculously the children walked out unscathed but their parents sustained injuries. None the less everyone survived; everyone except Scooter Bella’s counterpart. As for Bella no one could find her, she vanished in the ruins.

According to a report by Accuweather, the EPF4 tornado claimed 18 lives including children and flattened 100 plus buildings within Putnam County. This recorded the first violent wind disaster in the area in 11 years. The fact that the Johnsons family made it out was astounding. Broken hearted and in despair, the owners began searching for their dog soon after surgical treatment. Eric had initially put up a post of Bella in “Found in the Storm” a Face book group dedicated in retrieving lost objects and animals within the county. Faith soon began receiving calls from neighbors and friends reporting an occasional sighting of their pet but none had been able to track her down. About a month later Sarah Romeyn a church friend spotted the animal and set up trail cameras close by to watch her movements. Lured by a meal lying along a narrow street pavement Bella was trapped until her owners arrived to reclaim her. The day was April 26th 6pm, exactly 54 days since her departure.

Since then, a source from The Tennesean reveals that the heroic pet has been accorded prestigious awards by People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) recognizing her brave acts. Bella received a framed certificate in her name alongside a vegan treat basket. Eric and Faith express sincere gratitude to everyone who participated in Bella’s search echoing that that the family’s missing piece is back. Evident from their social media accounts Bell is receiving delicate care and seems to be having a good time. In an interview Eric confesses that they owe their lives to her and are grateful to God for having preserved them. The two plan to rebuild their home in the same location but with a storm shelter this time. Faith leaves an encouraging message to tornado victims all across Nashville not to lose hope but instead look forward to brighter days. The community also continues to support the survivors while grieving with those who lost their loved ones.

With Tornado cases on the rise particularly within the Southern Us region, safety precautions are a must. Unless you have a Bella of your own here are a few tips you should know when faced with storm winds. A report from the Government of Canad advises:

  1. Get low on the ground – Stay closest to the ground as possible or look for a low lying safe. Basements work best in these kinds of scenarios. Equally ensure you are somewhat at a central hiding spot such that there is good distance between you and the tornado. Hopefully this will reduce the impact. Take to places under the staircase, closets, hallways et cetera. If none of those deem fit take refuge under a strong study table or desk. The idea is to remain at the lowest interior point of your house.
  2. Avoid hiding directly under heavy appliances – Weighty equipment above the basement floor are disastrous. Take note of objects like the refrigerator, heavy sofas, or a piano which could easily crush you if the floors above give way.
  3. Keep distance from the windows – Stay furthest from window frames and do not waste time trying to equalize the pressure by opening them. Spots with lesser glass materials should be your safety nest.
  4. Cover yourself- As you stay low protect your head with a hat, helmet or armor of some kind. Add a blanket on top for extra precaution. This is to shield you from dangerous flying debris.

In the event that you are caught en route, get out of the car and look for a solid shelter or a low lying place like a ditch. Mobile homes too cannot with stand the damaging impact therefore have an evacuation plan to more promising shelters.

Emergency Items you Need to Survive a Tornado

According to The Health, any natural disaster should find you prepared with:

  • Portable battery or small generator for dialing emergency numbers in case your battery runs low. At the same time it keeps you connected with loved ones.
  • Cordless radio that functions even when the power is out. This is to keep you updated with the latest happenings, important messages or warnings.
  • Pack of batteries for electronics. Ensure you keep them in a dry place to prevent corroding.
  • Lantern or flashlights to illuminate dark areas during or after the pandemic
  • Food stash preferably non perishable meals. At minimum have meals that can feed you for about 3 days as you find a bearing.
  • First aid kit to carry out emergency operations in case medical help is distant.
  • An emergency fund or insurance cover to pay for rebuilding costs in time of need.


Second chances are rare to come by and for this reason the Johnsons are eternally grateful. From the look of things Bella who is now strong, healthy and rejuvenated will serve as a life -long companion to the two reminding them of just how special she is.

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