06/13/2011 AT 6:00 PM ET
It was a welcome sight for a family who had lost their home in the April 27th tornado that struck North Smithfield, Ala. Three weeks later, on May 17, they found their 2-year-old terrier mix Mason, who had been sucked out of the family’s garage and blown away, sitting on the front porch.
“It was just really sad, but really moving too, that this dog had made his way home on two broken legs,” said Phil Doster, the adoption rescue coordinator for Birmingham-Jefferson County Animal Control, where Mason was brought to receive medical care. “[His family] did not want to surrender him, but they were doing what they thought was the best thing for Mason.”
Realizing that Mason needed to be treated for severe injuries, Doster turned him over to Dr. William D. Lamb, a local veterinarian and owner of the Vulcan Park Animal Care facility in Birmingham. Once there, Dr. Lamb began strengthening Mason, who had lost half his body weight and dropped down to 14 lbs. during the ordeal, and proceeded to operate on May 20.
“In his right leg, we put in a bone plate and eight bone screws,” Dr. Lamb said. “In the left, he has a plate and nine screws. Mason got very lucky.”
Since his operation, the “happy and sweet” dog is recuperating nicely at Vulcan Park, where he will remain for the next four to five weeks to continue receiving treatment.
“He looks so much better,” said Dr. Lamb, adding that Mason has gained four pounds. “If all goes well, and he heals normally, we all expect him to be at 100 percent in three or four months down the road, and no one will ever know the difference.”
During his stay at Vulcan Park, Mason has received constant visits from his family, who prefers to remain anonymous.
“They have a little girl, and Mason is kind of her dog,” said Chuck Eagar, a technician at Vulcan Park. “When they see each other, they both go crazy. His whole body wiggles when he sees her. She is so happy to see him, and so sad when they have to leave.”
In addition, the miraculous tale of Mason’s survival has attracted a global audience via his Facebook page, which currently has over 8,400 fans.
“It’s been amazing,” Dr. Lamb said of the response. “The real joy in all of this is that Mason is going to be able to return to his original family. It just makes your heart feel good.”
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