CHICAGO, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- An Illinois National Guard soldier said he was "lucky" to find his pit bull, Dexter, alive -- nine days after his apartment was destroyed in a tornado.
Spc. Jacob Montgomery's dog, a 6-month-old puppy, was home alone when the tornado struck Nov. 17 and tore apart the third-floor apartment in Washington, Ill. Montgomery searched the wreckage multiple times but was not able to find Dexter, the Illinois National Guard said in a post on its Facebook page.
The post said Montgomery got a Facebook message from a neighbor Tuesday saying, "I've got your dog right here."
The neighbor said he knew from Facebook posts it was Montgomery's dog. He told Montgomery he found Dexter while looking for a missing cat with the organization, Rescuing Animals in Need of Central Illinois, and used hot dogs to coax it to come out of the rubble.
Randy Wheat, president of the rescue operation, told the Chicago Sun-Times Dexter was emaciated when rescuers found him.
"You could see his ribs," Wheat said. "He had nothing to eat and drink except snow."
"I am lucky," said Montgomery -- a military police officer with the 333rd Military Police Co. of Freeport. "All I had in my apartment is gone, but my dog was all I really had to worry about."