When it rains like cats and dogs, a lot of cats and dogs need help seeking shelter from the storm. In the wake of Hurricane Florence, many pets were left stranded at shelters across the southern U.S., and Tony Alsup, a truck driver from Greenback, Tennessee, decided to do his part to rescue these animals before the storm hit.
Alsup <a href="https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2018/09/16/florence-hurricane-tropical-storm-dogs-cats-scaped-school-bus/1322499002/">drove a school bus to South Carolina</a> to save pets living in shelters there. He loaded up his bus with 53 dogs and 11 cats from four towns across the state: North Myrtle Beach, Dillon, Georgetown and Orangeburg. Here is one of the cats he rescued from the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach:
“It’s so easy for people to adopt the small pets and the cuties and the cuddly,” Alsup told <a href="https://www.greenvilleonline.com/story/news/2018/09/16/florence-hurricane-tropical-storm-dogs-cats-scaped-school-bus/1322499002/">Greenville News</a> of his motivation to rescue these animals without homes. “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.”
Alsup brought the pets to a shelter in Foley, Alabama. From there, the pets will be dispersed to shelters across the country — and hopefully, they can be adopted into their forever homes.
This is not Alsup’s first time acting as a savior for forgotten animals. He’s also rescued animals from storms in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico over the past year. And he <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/09/17/noahs-ark-except-its-a-school-bus-truck-driver-rescues-64-dogs-and-cats-from-floods-of-hurricane-florence/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.016063b75b4e">helped feed horses</a> after Hurricane Maria.
When he originally offered to transport a few pets in his truck, he quickly realized the shelters needed large-scale help, especially when overcrowding becomes a problem during storms. So he bought a school bus to get the job done.
Check out the interior of his mobile rescue vehicle:
“I’m like, look, these are lives too,” Alsup told <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2018/09/17/noahs-ark-except-its-a-school-bus-truck-driver-rescues-64-dogs-and-cats-from-floods-of-hurricane-florence/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2d08ff1f458a">The Washington Post</a>. “Animals — especially shelter pets — they always have to take the back seat of the bus. 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.”
Alsup seems to get plenty of joy from rescuing all of these “fur babies” and is grateful to the human volunteers who help him along the way. If you want to help out, consider opening your home to one of these rescued animals.
“We are looking for FOSTERS all Across America please PM me if you can help and someone WILL get back you,” he wrote on Facebook.
Kudos to Alsup for his awesome service!
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