By Alanna Ketler, Collective Evolution
- The Facts: In the wake of Hurricane Florence many pets were left behind. Thanks to a real life hero, Tony Alsup, the lives of dozens of animals were saved.
- Reflect On: Are you deeply inspired to assist those in need, whatever that may look like to you? If you are not taking action now, how can you begin taking action on that inspiration?
After officials announced their stern clear message to people living in the coastal towns of North Carolina, Leave, Now. “You put your life at risk by staying, don’t plan to leave once the rain and winds start.” More than 1 million people were told to leave. Unfortunately because of the rush and severity of the incoming storm many people panicked and left their pets behind.
Shelters across the southeastern coast have been struggling to make room for an influx of pets that have been dropped off. Thankfully, there are some real life heroes out there and because of these compassionate and courageous people the lives of dozens of abandoned animals will be saved and have the chance to find a new home.
Last week, a couple from North Carolina rescued around 20 pets from shelters in their “fluffy bus,” and a truck driver, Tony Alsup loaded up 64 cats and dogs in his school bus, eventually driving them towards safety, outside the hurricane warning zone.
“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup told the Greenville News. “We take on the ones that deserve a chance even though they are big and a little ugly. But I love big dogs, and we find places for them.”
Greenville News reported that the animal lover from Tennessee spent $3,200 on a school bus to collect all of the sheltered pet’s from disaster zones across the country. Several days before Hurricane Florence hit, Alsup drove through South Carolina and collected 53 dogs and 11 cats into the bus from various shelters across the state. He drove them to a private dog shelter in Alabama where many were adopted, others were sent to other adoption centers across the states who had a little room to spare for the un-adopted animals.
Pets Often Get Left Behind
It’s unfortunate, but in the days before a hurricane, pet shelters begin to fill up and government run shelters in some jurisdictions are not allowed to turn away new animals, but this sometimes means that they have to put down other animals to make space for the new ones. People become frantic and don’t know what to do with their pets, so they drop them off at shelters, even though there is little that these shelters can do to rescue all of these animals from disasters such as hurricanes.
Some of the animals of South Carolina were truly blessed to have good samaritans like Alsup swoop in to save their lives. He aims to head back down to Wilmington North Carolina, an area where the flooding has caused road closures in order to save even more animals in need.
Facebook video link: https://www.facebook.com/tony.alsup.7/videos/2254648421231962/
“Animals—especially shelter pets—they always have to take the back seat of the bus,” Alsup told the Post. “But I’ll give them their own bus. If I have to I’ll pay for all the fuel, or even a boat, to get these dogs out of there.”
Isn’t it amazing to see people performing such selfless acts to save the lives of those in need? Way to go Tony for your continued efforts to save the lives of countless animals. May he be an inspiration to us all to do what we can in times of need.