Tornado Victim Found Clutching Dog

As tornado sirens pierced the air in Joplin, MO on May 22nd, Johnna Hale remained calm, drawing her Border Collie, Star, near to her and seeking the relative safety of a bathtub for the two of them to use as a miniature makeshift shelter.

As tornado sirens pierced the air in Joplin, MO on May 22nd, Johnna Hale remained calm, drawing her Border Collie, Star, near to her and seeking the relative safety of a bathtub for the two of them to use as a miniature makeshift shelter.

And then Star bolted. Terrified by the storm, the dog ran, and Hale pursued in an attempt to catch her and bring her back inside. She called her daughter, who said her mother was frantic, and was crying as she scrambled to find Star. The phone line went dead as the twister tore into Joplin. It was the last time Miranda Hale would speak to her mother.

Johnna Hale and her beloved Star were found nine days later. The distraught woman had located the dog as the tornado bore down on them, and had brought her into a nearby building to seek shelter. Sadly, the building had not held up to the punishing winds, and as workers cleared debris from the site last month, they discovered the deceased dog lover, still holding Star close to her. The two had taken their final journey together.

In a message to The Kansas City Star, Miranda Hale remembered her mother’s devotion to animals.

“My mom loved animals. She grew up on horses, we always had a cat or a dog around. We always joked about how our animals were better fed than we were. She had a border collie mix named Star when she was about 6-8 years old. I remember when she got her as a puppy and was really excited, she had adopted an older dog that just passed away, and was feeling sad from that. Star always slept with Mom, even if I went to visit, she had a full sized bed that the three of us, plus a cat, tried to fit on. When they had finally found my mom, they said that Star was in her arms.”
Johnna Hale