Before Hurricane Florence hit the east coast, the American Humane Rescue Team had already jumped into action evacuating shelter cats in the path of the approaching storm and transporting them nearly 800 miles to safe, dry ground. When the storm made landfall, our team mobilized again, sending two emergency rescue vehicles loaded with boats, medical supplies, and tactical rescue equipment to North Carolina.
As the floodwaters rose and the true extent of the storm’s damage began to show, our team assisted Code 3 Associates in search and rescue operations in areas hard-hit by floodwaters — areas that two years ago had also been hit by Hurricane Matthew. We checked flooded homes, pulled abandoned and hungry animals from porches, and grabbed kittens from the fast-moving floodwaters.
As our team continued their search and rescue operations, we checked on and fed horses, led cows away from contaminated water to dry land, and made sure a family of pigs were safe, fed, and dry. We also took care of chickens, two parakeets, and a mother pig with her piglets.
Our team waded through neck-high waters to enter homes and rescue animals left behind, and in one instance, rescued eight dogs from a single flooded home. Puppies stood on their mother’s backs as their cages were flooded, and unfortunately, some dogs, unable to break free from their cages, had already drowned in the floodwaters. At another house, our teams discovered a dog, standing in floodwater, chained to a tree outside of his home. We carried the distressed dogs out of danger and transported them to safety in our rescue boats.
Thank you to all our supporters who made this lifesaving work at such a critical time for these animals possible. It is deployments like this one that remind us why we do the work we do.