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Animal sanctuaries recovering from May 24 tornadoes

Animal sanctuaries from Dibble to Piedmont were affected by May 24 tornadoes. One is rebuilding and another is open to help homeless equine.
ROBERT MEDLEY Published: June 12, 2011

“Things were strewed everywhere,” Stanley said. “It looked like someone came through with a weed eater, and not a very good one.”

Her house was heavily damaged, but insurance will cover everything but the outbuildings, barns and kennels.

Donkey rescue

In Canadian County, Vicki MacKenney has spent the last three years rescuing more than 100 unwanted donkeys, mules and horses on the Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue farm in Piedmont.

On May 24, she took shelter in a storm cellar with her husband and prayed her donkeys would survive. The Piedmont tornado came within an eighth of a mile, but missed the donkey rescue operation.

“There has not been a day since the tornado I have not stopped to count our blessings,” MacKenney said.

But with so many neighbors around her who lost their homes and horses, she said, she faces “survivor guilt.”

There are neighbors who have told her they would give up their house if they could only have their pets back, she said.

Two of the donkeys she found a foster home for were living near Cashion and the tornado took out fences at their home. Both donkeys were missing for several hours but came back to the property. The donkeys are now at a temporary home.

“We're absolutely willing to take in animals from people who lost their homes in the tornadoes, and we can help them find a foster home,” she said.

“It's very important to me for people out there to know we're here to help.”

To make a donation to the Pug Hollow Sanctuary in McClain County, send checks to Pug Hollow Sanctuary Inc., P.O. Box 144, Dibble, OK 73031. The website is

The Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue operation in Piedmont has room to take donkeys, mules or horses displaced by the May 24 tornadoes. For more information, call Vicki MacKenney at 373-4261.


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