21 Photos Of Hurricane Harvey Victims & Their Dogs Being Rescued Will Tug At Your Heartstrings
As Hurricane Harvey forces families in South Texas to flee their homes, good Samaritans and emergency responders have been working together to help evacuated residents and pets caught in Harvey's wake of destruction stay together. Unfortunately, intense flooding has displaced and stranded hundreds of stray pets, and some don't have location chips.
Animal behaviorist Pamela Reid told National Geographic that in a crisis like Hurricane Harvey, dogs can behave unpredictably, and pets are more likely to try and make an escape during stressful times — potentially making the situation even worse.
Displaced dogs are already filling up animal shelters while they anxiously await reunions with their owners, who might have been separated from their pets or unable to take them to their temporary housing. Austin Pets Alive! has helped rescue 400 pets and counting. The SPCA of Texas, the City of Corpus Christi Animal Services, and the San Antonio Humane Society have also started accepting lost pets on a temporary basis and will help reunite them with their owners.
To make room for the displaced Harvey pets, shelter dogs that were already up for adoption are traveling as far north as New Jersey. Veterinary services like Pet Shotz Inc. in San Antonio are also providing free rabies vaccinations and microchips.
Despite the heartbreak of dogs gone missing or being still stranded in flood zones, these images show that some of our furry friends are in good hands.
The Twitter Search Crew Was On Top Of Things
After a lost dog hopped into storm chaser Aaron Jayjack's Jeep in Runge, Texas, the temporary dog owner called on Twitter for help finding the dog's owner. And the Twittersphere responded — big time. The tweet went viral and users managed to track down the dog's owners. Jayjack dropped off the lucky pup, named Cash, at the owners' home on, coincidentally, National Dog Day.
Resourceful Dog Comes Home With Own Stockpile Of Food
By now you might have seen the photos of Otis, the dog carrying a bag of dog food while trotting down a street in Sinton, Texas.
Otis had gotten loose during the storm and owner Salvador Segovia was worried he would have to tell his grandson Carter, who had evacuated to Laredo, that Otis wouldn't be coming home. But Otis was in survival mode and the next day he arrived triumphantly, much to Segovia's surprise, with a 5-pound bag of dog food that most likely came from the local lumber yard they frequently visit.
This Dog Owner Asked For Help On Facebook
Groups like Hurricane Harvey Lost & Found Pets - Coastal Bend are one of numerous volunteer organizations joining the rescue operations. The group posts pictures and information about lost or found pets in the mission to reunite them with their owners.
When Lisa Carr posted about Kasper, her 12-year-old German Shepherd stuck at home, Facebook users jumped in to find ways to help. And those efforts paid off, because Kasper made it out safely and back in the care of his owner.
Some dogs were fortunate enough to be evacuated with their families, but not all shelters are able to accommodate both the high influx of displaced people and their pets. Animal shelters are stepping in to hold on to man's best friend in the meantime while dogs and their owners wait out Harvey for their reunion.
No Family Left Behind
This now widely circulated photo shows good Samaritan Andrew White carrying his neighbor's dog while he helps her evacuate on his personal boat.
Unconventional Dog Carriers
Rescuers and pet owners have been using makeshift carriers to transport dogs to safety, from air mattresses (see below) to picnic coolers, such as these pups above at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Only Taking Their Valuables
This fleeing Houstonian saved space on his air mattress for his canine friends as he navigated flooded roads.
Catching A Ride In A Team Effort
Neighbors are banding together and being resourceful to get everyone out, dogs included. In this time of catastrophe, it's heartwarming to know there are still good Samaritans willing to rush in for strangers and save their pets.
A Dry Spot For Now
Some dogs had the opportunity to take refuge in evacuation centers, at least temporarily.
Where floodwater reached knee height, this woman hoisted her dog on her shoulders as she evacuated.
Room For You, Too
This dog takes cover from the rain under a human-held canopy.
A Dog In Each Hand
While many pet owners were unable to save their homes, they were able to save their pooches.
Rafting To Safety
Wearing a trash bag poncho, this man tugs his dog along as he forges through a flooded residential street.
Yoga mats can serve multiple purposes, such as flotation devices, as this video shows.
This chihuahua wrapped in a blanket huddles up for the ride.
Dog Found Holding Onto Dear Life
Jess Hernandez and Alex Delarosa in Houston saved a dog holding onto a bayou rail. No news yet if the dog has been reunited with its owner or taking shelter with these rescuers.
A Wet Day For A Walk
These dogs took to the street in shallow water, not the usual conditions for their daily walk, presumably.
Plenty of other doggy friends for these owners and their dogs.
Leading The Way
A dog is followed by a trail of humans clutching what little possessions they can carry.
One Man's Solace
This is a man's home in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. While his house has suffered damages, he seeks emotional support with a dog that's also weathered the storm.