Amory resident and nurse Sandra Koenig said that her pig, Oink, escaped the yard when the blazing winds damaged her fenced-in area.
Oink, the pig, has found her way home after the devastating tornadoes razed through Mississippi in March. Amory resident and nurse Sandra Koenig said that her 275-pound pig escaped the yard when the blazing winds damaged her fenced-in area. She and her husband, Jonathon, are longtime members of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. “Without a fence, Oink kind of wandered off,” Koenig told USA TODAY. “She does not wander far, and she’s not fast, so she wandered a street over.” When Oink fled, the ASPCA had been on Amory grounds to help the animal control and Humane Society.
ASPCA disaster response director Susan Anderson said that the organization worked to rescue displaced pets and find homes for adoptable animals after the tornadoes hit. Oink was one of more than 600 animals the ASPCA helped. ASPCA members recognized the potbellied pig the Humane Society rescued because they had visited Koenig’s home a day before to bring food. “The ASPCA knew who she belonged to, and they knew exactly how to guide her back and get her home,” Koenig said. Her family and two dogs went to a nearby hotel to ride out the tornadoes on March 24 and left Oink at home because she was too heavy to bring along. “We couldn't see because it was so dark, and there were no lights,” she added. The family dodged trees before reaching the hotel, which had no electricity.
Upon returning home, they found their yard in a mess, scattered with piles of debris, a destroyed fence, no running water, and no power. And more importantly, Oink had wandered off. After a few hours, the City of Amory Animal Control officer reported that Oink was walking around a nearby residential area. “He was able to wrangle her, because she's a very large girl, gets her securely in his van, and transport her to the Humane Society to keep her safe and sound until her people could be identified,” Anderson said. “We helped get Oink loaded into the back of a transport vehicle, which we did with the help of Sandra, to be able to transport her back to her house,” Anderson said.
To lure her into the van, the ASPCA members fed Oink her favorite treat—cheese puffs. The pig could not enjoy the snack for months because of her vet's recommended diet plan. "There's no way I could have gotten Oink to a car, picked her up, or made her walk in a certain direction," Koenig said. "The ASPCA knew what they were doing." According to a USA TODAY report, 26 people have been killed because of the storm that destroyed buildings and thousands of homes. President Joe Biden called the devastation "heartbreaking" as search and rescue efforts continued to look for injured civilians.
Oink 🐷 was one of 600+ animals the ASPCA assisted after the devastating Mississippi tornadoes. The ASPCA has been on the ground for nearly a month helping the community & animals impacted by the storm. Read about Oink's reunion below: @USATODAY https://t.co/clHeXgMPaJ— ASPCA (@ASPCA) April 19, 2023
Biden issued an emergency declaration for Mississippi, making federal funding available to Carroll, Humphreys, Monroe, and Sharkey counties, the areas affected by a deadly tornado that ripped through the Mississippi Delta, one of the poorest regions in the country. The tornado, with some calling it a "wedge tornado," violently approached the small town of Rolling Fork and lasted for more than an hour.
"I still can't get over what I saw," said Stephanie Cox, an Oklahoma resident who witnessed the tornado in Mississippi. She told the BBC that she could not determine the magnitude of the storm but then heard a massive roar followed by a lightning strike that illuminated what she described as a "monster" of a tornado. "I've never seen one that violent or heard one just make that roaring sound—that sounds like a train horn coming right at you," she said.