Stranded pets rescued amid Hurricane Harvey flooding in southeast Texas
ABCNews.com(HOUSTON) — Humans aren’t the only ones weathering the storm as Hurricane Harvey ravages Texas with “epic and catastrophic” flooding that has left thousands stranded.
Rescue efforts are also underway for pets and animals across the state, with many shelters and good Samaritans helping animals who are scared, hungry and alone.
A man named Adam Brackman said he is currently trying to help rescue a woman named Cindi Simpson and her 90-year-old mother from their attic, along with Simpson’s four dogs and three cats.
“I’m sitting on top of an attic with her. I’m bonding with her pets to get them to trust me so I can get them down,” Brackman, owner of Axelrad Beer Garden in Houston, told ABC News.
Simpson said she and her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and is fighting cancer, have been trapped in their attic since 6 a.m. Sunday morning. They climbed into the attic with their pets to escape four feet of water in their house.
Brackman is an animal lover and is thrilled he’s been able to help so many people and their pets escape the flood waters.
“Everybody has pets. They’re our fur babies,” he said. “Everyone I talked to wants to hold onto them.”
He said he’s heard from several people he rescued that the George R. Brown Convention Center now has a designated area for pets.
Prior to meeting Simpson, Brackman helped rescue a family, including their young children and dog named Ralph, from their flooded house in Houston. In a video of the rescue, the family is helped into the boat one by one, including Ralph.
“See you later, house!” the little girl named Kate said as they pulled away in Brackman’s boat.
Once Texas begins recovering from the storm, Brackman said he wants to hold a fundraiser for hurricane victims at his beer garden.
Austin Pets Alive!, an animal shelter and no-kill pet advocacy group, said it has transported hundreds of pets in the path of Hurricane Harvey to its shelter. The group has created a page on its website specific to Hurricane Harvey-related needs.
“Austin Pets Alive! has been helping shelters in the direct line of Hurricane Harvey. We’ve been working with these shelters to transport as many pets as possible to APA! and as of Saturday morning, we’ve transported over 235 animals to our shelter,” a statement on its website says. “Because of the incredible, humbling support we’ve received from the community thus far, we have been able to remove some items from our needs list completely.”
An image of a German Shepherd mix named Otis has also been shared on social media, some calling it another symbol of Texan resiliency. In the photo, Otis walks through rainy streets carrying an entire bag of dog food with him.
“I was headed into Sinton to check damage to properties of friends and family and, as I was driving down the street, I saw people out cleaning up stuff in yards and I look over and see Otis carrying his dog food down the street,” Tiele Dockens, who took the photo, told ABC News. “I posted the photo because we live in a small town where everyone knows everyone and, sure enough, he belonged to my friend’s parents.”
His owners said he got loose from his screened-in porch during the storm, but he has now been reunited with them.
“Otis made it back to his parents with food in mouth,” Dockens said.
A tiny dog named Kiwi also braved the Houston flooding in a small, makeshift boat his owners made out of a plastic box.
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