As Floodwaters Rose All Around Them, A Hero Rescued Six Dogs Locked In A CageJ. Swanson
Hurricane Florence may have been downgraded to a tropical storm, but the damage is far from down. The Carolinas have already been battered with record amounts of rain, leaving residents braced for historic flooding.
Unfortunately, one family forgot some precious cargo in their rush for higher ground, which unfortunately isn’t uncommon. Not only did they leave six dogs behind, they inexplicably locked them inside of a cage, which is essentially a death sentence as rising flood waters engulf townships up and down the coast.
Thankfully, one good Samaritan noticed the abandoned dogs as he patrolled the submerged city of LeLand, North Carolina. The dogs were frantically barking and pawing at sides of the cage, desperate to get out, as floodwaters rose up all around them.
Our hero was able to unlock the cage, freeing the traumatized animals who quickly paddled to higher ground. And while these dogs — despite the odds – enjoyed a happy ending, their story is depressingly common.
Florence’s first responders regularly come across dogs and cats — and even donkeys and horses — desperately trying to tread rising waters. Worse still are the cases where those animals are caged up or chained, which reduces their chance of survival to effectively nil.
Even if these abandoned pets do make it to safety, their safety is anything but guaranteed. Overcrowded shelters are often forced to start euthanizing animals upon reaching maximum capacity. Others are working overtime to move abandoned animals across state lines, where they might be adopted out-of-state.
Nor is Florence the only natural disaster to see humans fleeing for their lives without their four-legged family. Over 100,000 animals were abandoned in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, according to Louisiana’s SPCA, although 44 percent of people didn’t evacuate at all because they feared leaving their pets behind. A better option still is to plan and prepare for evacuation with your animals in tow.