With all of the tragic devastation brought by Hurricane Florence, it’s hard to find news that gives us hope. However, there are heroes out there who remind us that there is still some good in the world. The heroes in the following stories faced dangerous conditions to save defenseless dogs, trapped or left behind as people evacuated to escape the storm. Some braved deadly flood waters to bring our furry friends to safety and restored a little bit of our faith in humanity. We can’t possibly thank them enough. Here are eight of the most heroic dog rescues from Hurricane Florence.
1. Coast Guard Loads Boats Of Beagles And Pit Bulls
The U.S. Coast Guard arrived to help in a flooded neighborhood in Columbus County, North Carolina with two boats that quickly filled up with dogs. They pulled ten Beagles from outdoor cages that belonged to a resident who had evacuated earlier but returned when the wind and rain died down only to be trapped by flooding. One Coast Guard member said the dogs might not have made it if the boats arrived minutes later. Workers also grabbed four Pit Bulls from a nearby neighbor. The mood wasn’t all sad, though. The pups made Coast Guard workers laugh when they used the boats as their own toilets. Hopefully all these dogs are on their way to somewhere safe.
2. Volunteers Free Six Dogs Locked In Flooded Cages
Ryan Nichols and David Rebollar were helping neighbors in Leland, North Carolina escape from flood waters when they heard barking. They investigated and found six dogs left behind, locked in outdoor cages. The two freed the dogs and brought them out of the waist-high water to higher ground, noting that the rising flood waters would have drown the dogs within an hour if they hadn’t come by. The owners, a family with an 8-month-old baby, apparently left in a panic and couldn’t take the dogs with. They are lucky that the volunteers took time to rescue the dogs in the middle of all the chaos.
3. Reporter Helps Save Dog During Live Stream
An ABC news reporter, Julie Wilson, recorded a Facebook Live video in New Bern, North Carolina where residents scrambled to get their families to safety in knee-high flood waters. She met one woman, named Tasha, desperately trying to make her way home to save her daughter’s therapy dog. Tasha pulled the dog from the house, but was having trouble carrying the pooch through the water. Wilson handed off her phone, still recording, and picked up the pup to help Tasha get her to safety. Together, they managed to get the dog out of the flood waters. Jump to about 4:50 in the video above to see the rescue.
4. Volunteer Loads School Bus With Shelter Pets To Evacuate
Tony Alsup is a trucker who is no stranger to rescuing animals. A year ago, he volunteered to use his semi-truck to evacuate shelter pets in the path of Hurricane Harvey. He was expecting to take a few dogs in the cab of the truck, but shelters thought he would be able to transfer dozens. Well, Alsup didn’t want to back out, and he knew the shelters were counting on him, so he bought a bus to evacuate as many pets as he could. This time, before Hurricane Florence did its worst, Alsup used his bus to haul animals from the South Carolina towns of North Myrtle Beach, Dylan, Georgetown, and Orangeburg to safety. He picked up 53 dogs and 11 cats to bring to a shelter in Alabama where they will be sent around the country as they look for forever homes.
5. Over 100 Animals Saved From Collapsing Shelter
The Carteret County Humane Society needed repairs even before Hurricane Florence hit. The old building was in rough shape, and the rain from the storm saturated the roof as flood waters crept in. Parts of the ceiling fell apart, and the roof above the dog kennels looked like it wouldn’t hold. Luckily, the Cajun Navy, a group of volunteers who help with search and rescue, showed up to help. With the local fire department clearing the way and volunteers and emergency personnel loading animals onto vehicles, workers managed to get the 43 dogs and about 80 cats in the shelter to safety. Volunteers continue to help the animals as they stay at Fort Benjamin’s shelter.
6. Coast Guard Air Lifts Man And His Dog From Roof
Willie Schubert found himself stranded with his dog, Lucky, in a van in Pollocksville, North Carolina as flood waters surrounded them. He managed to climb to the roof of his van, waiting for help to arrive. With Lucky tucked in his arms, Schubert the scrambled to the roof of a nearby building. Coast Guard rescue workers arrived on the scene with a helicopter. They secured Schubert and Lucky in a rescue basket and airlifted the two to safety. Thank you to the Coast Guard workers who risk their lives to save others, including our furry friends.
7. Pastor And Church Members Rescue Pets By Boat
Pastor Matthew Drake of Richlands United Pentecostal Church in North Carolina set out with three members of his church to find people stranded by Hurricane Florence, but they ended up finding dogs and cats left behind by people fleeing the storm. They rescued two dogs from the porch of an empty home, loading them into their boat before going back for two cats who desperately jumped into the water to swim for higher ground. The rescuers got all the animals to safety.
8. North Carolina Citizens Foster Dogs To Clear The Shelters
The line of folks waiting to pick up foster dogs for the weekend so coastal shelters can evacuate here before #HurricanceFlorence. Many more behind me. Sometimes humans are okay. pic.twitter.com/niyCRDygOV
— Ali Standish (@AliStandish) September 12, 2018
Sometimes rescue work isn’t about plunging into flood waters, but helping any way you can. Citizens of North Carolina rallied to help Saving Grace animal shelter when they needed space for the influx of animals displaced by the storm. Before Hurricane Florence hit, people lined up to take the pets of Saving Grace for the weekend as fosters so the shelter could free up resources. As you can see in the picture, the line was long, and several of the temporary pet parents are posting their foster babies on social media as they wait out the storm and wait for forever homes. These foster parents remind us that anyone can help during hard times and be a hero.
What other amazing dog rescue stories have you heard from Hurricane Florence? Are you helping animals that have been affected by the storm? Let us know in the comments below!