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One Year After The Tornado, Celebrating Joplin's Animal Heroes (VIDEOS)

First Posted: 05/22/2012 1:46 pm   Updated: 07/27/2012 5:34 pm

On May 22, 2011, one of the worst tornadoes in US history hit Joplin, Mo., killing 161 people and destroying nearly a third of the city.

It was a devastating time. Yet, amidst the grief and widespread destruction, the city of Joplin has shown a resilience and hope that has been astounding.

On the first anniversary of the tornado, the city will come together in a "walk of unity" as they remember the steadfast togetherness that has kept them strong and the heroes that helped saved lives.

But Joplin's heroes come in many sizes: male and female, young and old, on two legs and on four.

Here, we celebrate the animal heroes of the Joplin tornado -- pets who have worked tirelessly to save survivors or to retrieve victims, as well as animals who've bravely endured the challenges of the disaster, offering hope to a city in recovery.

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Hailed a hero for her tireless search and rescue efforts in the aftermath of the Joplin tornado, Lily spent two straight weeks combing through the rubble for survivors even though she was unwell.

According to the Joplin Globe, the dog developed a life-threatening immune deficiency just weeks before the tornado hit. During the search, she was still on medication.

Yet, her owner Tara Prosser told OzarksFirst.com that the brave dog would not slow down her rescue effort.

"She's worked without complaint. She got nails in her feet. She get cuts on her legs. I only heard her yelp one time," Prosser said.

In recognition for her selfless determination, Lily was recently nominated for the American Humane Association's hero dog award.

For more information, visit Lily's Facebook page.
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Filed by Dominique Mosbergen  |