The National Weather Service confirms to FOX 13 that an F1 tornado ripped through Fayette County Saturday night just after 9 p.m.
An animal shelter in Mason, Tennessee, received devastating damage as a result of that strong storm. One dog and one kitten were killed; the pens for the other 127 dogs were ripped apart.
"I had people starting to call me asking if we were alright, and I was hollering at them, ‘I'm in the middle of it. I got dogs everywhere. I can't do this,'" recalls Bill Funk from K-9 Animal Savior Rescue, "Next thing I know before 12 o'clock at night there's 60 people out here."
Volunteers in Fayette County quickly established a Facebook group to recruit volunteers to help the shelter's clean up. Immediately following the storm, people gathered the more than 100 dogs that were loose because of destroyed shelters, putting them in makeshift kennels.
Sunday morning, people who never met swiftly started working together to clean up fallen trees and picking up broken fences and shelters.
"I've never seen anything like this before firsthand, up close ever. I don't know that you can describe it. It took me a minute," says volunteer Anita Cusber, "That's why we're here, because we're very blessed we were missed and just to pay it forward to let other people know that people care about you and will help."
Funk says they are asking people to donate stainless steel food and water bowls for the dogs; he's also in need of 10-by-10 modular pens so he can get the dogs out of the small kennels.
More than anything, the shelter is asking people to foster the dogs while they continue the cleanup; they add adoption would be even better than fostering.
"As much as he does for these dogs we really need people to step up and help him," says volunteer Kristin Scatamacchia.
The K-9 Animal Savior Rescue is located at 465 Belmont Road in Mason, Tennessee. You can also learn more about helping the shelter on their Facebook page where there is a link to a volunteer event.
If you would like to donate financially, a PayPal account has been set up; volunteers say to visit this PayPal website and type in K9Savior@gmail.com.