As Hurricane Florence ravaged the East Coast, brave emergency responders and good Samaritans put their own lives on the line to rescue animals in the path of the deadly storm.
Julie Wilson was busy reporting on the hurricane for WTVD-TV when she noticed a woman struggling with an injured dog in the rising floodwaters in New Bern, North Carolina.
“It’s my daughter’s therapy dog," the woman told Wilson. "I have no choice."
Wilson stopped reporting to help the woman with the Rottweiler, even taking over carrying the tired dog through the water.
“Nobody is leaving the dog in this mess,” Wilson said. “That’s what we are doing out here.”
In Trenton, North Carolina, Bruce Pollock borrowed a friend’s boat to check on his horses and dogs.
With the horses corralled, Pollock ferried several hunting dogs through the water. He saved 11 dogs and two horses in total.
"All in all, we're alive,” he told APTN. “Animals are safe. We live to go another day."
Journalist Marcus DiPaola and volunteer Ryan Nichols of Longview, Texas, waded through rapidly rising waters to free six dogs out of an outdoor cage Sunday in Leland, North Carolina.
“We got them out, but by the time we left, the water was so high that they would have drowned,” DiPaola said of the incident.
Video of the rescue showed the dogs standing on their hind legs while leaning on the fence, their tails wagging as Nichols worked to open the chain link door.
DiPaola wrote he knew the identity of the dog’s owner but would not share their name, only noting the person did not die trying to get to the dogs or in the storm.
“BRING YOUR PETS WITH YOU!” DiPaola wrote.
In Kingston, April Casey and other volunteers spend 90 minutes Saturday removing dogs from a flooded home originally thought to be on high ground that would not flood. By the end of the day, she and her crew had rescued 18 dogs, the News & Observer reported.
“I love dogs — I love animals, period,” Casey said. “… They can’t save themselves.”
And last week, Tennessee trucker Tony Alsup rushed to animal shelters in four South Carolina towns to ensure dogs and cats there were removed.
Alsup collected 53 dogs and 11 cats from shelters in North Myrtle Beach, Dylan, Georgetown and Orangeburg that he bussed to an awaiting shelter in Foley, Alabama, WFAA-TV reported.
Alsup had previously rescued shelter pets from hurricane zones in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
“We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly,” he said. “But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”