Possible tornado destroys animal shelter; 1 dog killed

Authorities believe a tornado destroyed this animal sanctuary in Tylertown last week killing at least one dog. (Facebook photo)

TYLERTOWN – (AP) Authorities said a possible tornado has destroyed one building, moved another six feet off of its foundation and killed at least one dog at the St. Francis Animal Sanctuary in Tylertown.

“We think it may have been a tornado,'' said Roland Vandenweghe, Walthall County's Emergency Manager.

The Enterprise-Journal reports the National Weather Service in Slidell, La., said it will send someone to the area later Thursday to determine if the damage done was by a twister.

The storm last Saturday also brought down trees and power lines in Summit, knocking out electricity to the police station and town hall. No other significant damage was reported in the area.

One of the shelter's 350 dogs died when strong winds blew a kennel wall onto the building and another dog was critically injured. Two other animals had minor injuries.

Neither of the shelter's two employees was hurt, said KiKi Byrd, a sanctuary spokeswoman.

A veterinary technician who was on her way to the shelter said she saw a possible tornado touch down, and said it spun her car around.

The winds were so strong that a 2-by-4 board was driven through the metal roof of one building, Vandenweghe said.

“They had quite a few trees that had fallen on kennels,'' he said.

A tree also fell on a cinder block building, Byrd said.

Two dogs were missing, she said. Two other buildings that house 30 to 40 dogs are inoperable. Another was blown apart.

The sanctuary was trying to set up make-shift houses for the dogs before more storms moved through the area, she said. Officials hoped to have the damage repaired in a month with the help of donations, she said.