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Hurricane Katrina Family Reunites with Dog in Fayetteville

Derionne Brooks was reunited with family pet, Gracie, on Saturday in Fayetteville. They lost Gracie during Hurricane Katrina.

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It’s been three years since Derionne Brooks and her mother Dionne, saw their yellow lab mix, Gracie. Then, the dog was just a puppy and the family was in the middle of Hurricane Katrina’s wrath.

The family, who now lives in Kentucky, was reunited with Gracie on Saturday in Fayetteville.

“We lost everything and we finally get something back. And it’s something that can’t really be replaced,” she said.

In 2005, the family was evacuated from the roof of their New Orleans home – forced to leave their animals behind.

“After the storm, we got on the internet and we looked around. We went back to the house and we didn’t find her and it was sort of like she disappeared,” Brooks said.

Hurricane Katrina was the beginning of Gracie’s journey. After being brought to a Fayetteville shelter, she ended up being adopted by a soldier. After the soldier died in Iraq, she was returned to the shelter.

A volunteer group who reunites Hurricane Katrina victims with their dogs, found Gracie in the database. They tracked down Brooks.

“I thought it was a miracle, because I never expected it,” Brooks said.

Though Gracie has been called Parish the past few years, Brooks said she is going to hyphenate her name to be Gracie-Parish



Erin Hartness, Reporter
Anthony Shepherd, Photographer
Kathy Hanrahan, Web Editor

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