More Than 100 Animals, 2 People, Rescued From Top Floor Of Flooded Shelter

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On Friday afternoon, with a dying phone battery and little time left to spare, an impassioned plea was sent out from the shelter to the Cajun Navy and the TSK Hurricane Evacuees Pet Referral Network:

Urgent. 43 dogs. 83 cats. 2 people. Ok for now. Roof wont [sic] hold up. 9/14/2018 2:42 central time still not rescued. Louisiana Cajun Navy called no response yet. Please help network. PM Them. Response is quick.

More than 100 animals and two people stranded on the roof of an animal shelter in Newport, North Carolina, were later saved from Tropical Storm Florence thanks to the efforts of the Cajun Navy, and others helping to spread the message.

Source: YouTube/Wochit News Flooding from Tropical Storm Florence has forced some to take to their roofs as help arrives.

Source: YouTube/Wochit News
Flooding from Tropical Storm Florence has forced some to take to their roofs as help arrives.


The two shelter workers, along with 43 dogs and about 80 cats, were trapped by floods for a few hours in the Carteret County Humane Society (CCHS) before the search and rescue team arrived, USA Today reports. The volunteer group, made up of local boat owners, successfully moved the shelter workers to dry land as Florence continued to deluge the East Coast with heavy rainfall.

Source: Facebook/TSK Hurricane Evacuees Pet Referral Network A message from the Carteret County Humane Society sent out on Friday, Sept. 14.

Source: Facebook/TSK Hurricane Evacuees Pet Referral Network
A message from the Carteret County Humane Society sent out on Friday, Sept. 14.


Last least 15 chickens kept in one corner of the shelter were lost to the disaster. Even on the top floor, people and animals were wading through a few inches of water as the floods worsened. The roof was caving in, as well.

“The shelter is old and needed repairs before the storm,” wrote manager Cassandra Tupaj. “Also the roof over dog kennels is saturated and not looking like it will hold up the whole storm.”

Source: YouTube/Wochit News Flooding had washed out many of the roads leading to the shelter before the weekend.

Source: YouTube/Wochit News
Flooding had washed out many of the roads leading to the shelter before the weekend.


Until Saturday, Roads around CCHS were impassable without boats, so the local fire department cut down the trees lining the streets, and removed those that were blocking the way, so rescue vehicles could make their way through.

Source: Facebook/Peak Lab Rescue A transport team from Peak Lab Rescue helped save more of the animals after the people were rescued on Saturday.

Source: Facebook/Peak Lab Rescue
A transport team from Peak Lab Rescue helped save more of the animals after the people were rescued on Saturday.


A transport team from North Carolina’s Peak Lab Rescue arrived at CCHS in a 5-ton military truck to take the rest of the animals on Saturday evening. They were temporarily held at Fort Benjamin, then moved to a facility in Raleigh.

“Dogs will be vetted, bathed, fed, and pottied upon arrival,” Peak Lab Rescue wrote on Facebook Sunday night. “After a long day, we are sure many of them will be happy to have a clean, dry crate with a soft towel or blanket to sleep on for the evening. Tomorrow, we hope to get as many dogs as possible placed with rescue groups.”

Source: Facebook/Peak Lab Rescue The animals were kenneled and placed in the back of a 5-ton military transport.

Source: Facebook/Peak Lab Rescue
The animals were kenneled and placed in the back of a 5-ton military transport.

It’s been downgraded to a tropical storm since landing ashore on Sept. 14 but Florence is still wreaking havoc on the coastal communities of the Carolinas. More than a million people have evacuated, and many still remain.

Rescues continue to be carried out throughout the region, but you can learn more about this one in the video below.

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Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.
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