Six dogs abandoned by owners found drowning in locked cage as Hurricane Florence floodwaters rise around them
Six dogs that were locked in a cage rapidly filling up with Hurricane Florence floodwater were saved by rescuers in the nick of time
As flood waters rose in the wake of Hurricane Florence, rescue workers saved six abandoned dogs who were found in a locked cage in Leland, North Carolina. On Sunday, Journalist Marcus DiPaola shared a video of the incident on Twitter which went viral and was shared over 200,000 times.
The trapped dogs were desperately barking and whimpering for someone to help. The dogs were standing on their hind legs so they could keep their heads above the water. The rescue workers are then seen unlocking the cage and guiding the dogs to safety.
Rescued six dogs in Leland, NC, after the owner LEFT THEM locked in an outdoor cage that filled with flood water that was rapidly rising.— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) September 16, 2018
We got them out, but by the time we left, the water was so high that they would have drowned. BRING YOUR PETS WITH YOU! #HurricaneFlorence pic.twitter.com/tRibGxCjXy
“Rescued six dogs in Leland, NC, after the owner LEFT THEM locked in an outdoor cage that filled with flood water that was rapidly rising,” DiPaola wrote. “We got them out but, by the time we left, the water was so high that they would have drowned.”
Hearts melted across social media as DiPaola's rescue video trended moments after being posted. However, this wasn't the only Florence-related rescue that caught the attention of the public.
On Saturday, North Carolina’s News & Observer reporter that Andrew Carter shared a photo of Robert Simmons Jr and his kitten 'Survivor' sitting together in a rowboat after the floodwaters started rising.
Three calls for rescue. Team I'm with now beginning USAR ops in the Murrayville neighborhood of Wilmington pic.twitter.com/PqWWa65n1E— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) September 16, 2018
Carter explained the story behind the emotional photo, saying, “Meet Robert Simmons. Was stuck in his house since last night, when floodwaters began to rise in New Bern. A boat came and rescued him just now. He was sad to leave his father but left with his kitten hugging his neck.”
Speaking to The News & Observer, Simmons revealed that, while the Survivor's mother was "a wild cat", the kitten had formed a bond with him as he "fed him" every day.
Meet Robert Simmons. Was stuck in his house since last night, when floodwaters began to rise in New Bern. A boat came and rescued him just now. He was sad to leave his father but left with his kitten hugging his neck. Cat’s name: Survivor, Simmons said. #HurricaneFlorence2018 pic.twitter.com/vRR3lANDJe— Andrew Carter (@_andrewcarter) September 14, 2018
However, Carter wrote that Simmons' father decided to stay behind. “There was probably about a half-mile of waist-deep water between their place and the street that led out of the neighborhood,” he added.
According to CNN, Florence made landfall on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane after beginning at sea as a Category 4 one. It has since been slow-moving as it lingers over the Carolinas and was downgraded to a tropical storm soon after its landfall. That said, as the floodwaters keep rising, more than 500,000 residents have been left without electricity.
The death toll stands at 19, as of Monday morning, People reports.
The first two casualties from the hurricane were reported on Friday when a tree fell through the roof of a house in Wilmington, North Carolina, killing a mother and her eight-month-old baby. However, the father was successfully rescued and taken to a hospital, according to officials with the Wilmington Police Department.
In another tragic incident, according to a Facebook post by the Union County Sheriff Department, the body of one-year-old Kaiden Lee-Welch was recovered on Monday. The infant was swept away in the floods from Richardson Creek before being searched for by rescue teams throughout Monday.
“Union County Sheriff’s detectives believe the child and his mother were traveling east on N.C. 218 going toward Wadesboro,” officials wrote. “The mother drove around the barricades on N.C. 218 and continued traveling east until her vehicle encountered rushing water flowing across the road. Her vehicle left the roadway and came to rest amongst a group of trees. She managed to free herself and Kaiden, who was in a car seat, but lost her grip on him in the rushing water.”