Family finds 2 dogs in Washington mudslide rubble days later

March 25, 2014 10:40:25 AM PDT
The search for survivors in a mudslide in Washington state is now in Day 4.

Oso, Washington Mudslide Photos

The mudslide engulfed one square mile of Snohomish County north of Seattle Saturday. At least 14 people are dead -- and more than 100 unaccounted for.

"I'm just still in shock that we could have been gone," said Irene Kuntz.

The Kuntz family came home to Darrington to find their muddy, mangled house 150 feet from its base. They missed the deadly slide to attend their son's ball game, leaving their dog and cat inside.

"It's like it was put in a blender," said Irene Kuntz.

Their relative, Linda McPherson, who lived next door on the family's farm, didn't survive.

"We have lost our great, great sister, but we are a strong family and we're going to get through this," said Irene Kuntz.

Linda's husband Gary McPherson was sitting in his recliner when the house crashed in. The 70-year-old grabbed wood from his chair to clear enough room to breath.

"Looks like he got in a pretty good fight with something," Quinton Kuntz said.

Neighbors consoled his wife in her final minutes.

"I take comfort in that," Irene Kuntz said.

The family had given up hope on finding their chocolate Lab Buddy until they returned to the wreckage.

"We were looking through all the rubble and heard the dog whining," Quinton Kuntz said.

Covered in dirt and a few gashes, Buddy came through.

"I just broke down crying, really happy that my dog was alright," said Quinton Kuntz. "I'm just shocked how well he did against my whole house falling on him."

Today, Buddy's tired. But giving one family that's lost so much a reason to smile.

"We had one thing we could celebrate after a day of just horror," Irene Kuntz said.

After finding Buddy and losing their cat, the Kuntz family is now helping rescue other animals in Darrington, including their Aunt Linda's dog, who they also just found.


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