Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc on the state and caused mass flooding that displaced both humans and beloved pets. The passing of the most violent part of the storm did not mean that conditions were going to improve. As flood waters continued to rise in the southeastern portion of Texas, people struggled to reach safe locations for many days. Many, brought their pets along with them. There are many hundreds of dogs and cats who have been displaced by the flooding. Some of them are being cared for by their families, while others were saved by rescue workers and placed in shelters. In some instances, neighbors took in the displaced pets when possible. There is a heroic effort being made to not only assist the people who are victims of the catastrophe, but also to reach out to the pets that are in desperate need of medical attention, food, clean water and shelter. We’ve found 20 pretty amazing pet rescue photos from the event and here are the stories behind them.
1. Joe Garcia carries Heidi to safety
This is one of the most circulated photos on the internet today. It shows how much Joe Garcia loves his pet. We see Joe in distress himself, carrying the good sized German Shepherd through the flood waters to safety. You can tell by the look in Heidi’s eyes that she knows she is in caring and capable hands as the two make their way through the deep torrent though which they must wade to get to dry land. Had he not returned for his beloved Shepherd, the odds of her surviving would have been very slim. Garcia is one of many pet owners who returned to rescue their stranded pets after the tropical storm kept battering the region with record amounts of rainfall.
2. Ice chest rescue
This amazing photograph shows a couple who are themselves evacuees, carrying their dogs in an ice chest to safety. They are headed to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas after the big hit that Harvey dished out to the Texas Gulf Coast. This touching video shows the pair looking a little weary from the experience, but you can see in their smiles that they feel fortunate to have escaped the dangers of the storm and consequent flooding. The two small pooches look healthy and happy as they are toted along, safe from the debris. This photo was taken on August 27, 2017.
3. Vet holds rescued pooch
This photo shows the massive joint effort that was underway to save as many helpless animals as was possible. The man holding the small, wet dog is a vet who is volunteering for the cause. He gently towels the pup to remove as much water in an attempt to dry him off. You can see in the background that there is quite a large group of people dispatched to conduct search and rescue missions. They went out into the flood waters in helicopters, boats and trucks in their goal of reaching the hundreds of Texans and stranded pets who were marooned on house tops and other locations when the streets around them filled with waters that were contaminated and unhealthy to come into contact with. This photo was taken on August 28, 2017 and it was an intermediate effort that left rescuers scrambling to save as many as possible before Harvey hit them again.
4. Lines of rescuers wade through Texas floods
This is another now iconic photo that gives us a real look at the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. We see Isaiah Courtney wading through thigh deep flood waters, carrying Bruce, his beloved Pit dog. behind Isaiah and Bruce, we see a woman carrying a child to safety and a long line of evacuees walking to save themselves from the rising waters. It’s a somber picture, and sadly, one of many, some of them being yet more tragic.
5. Cat walking among debris
This is another rousing photo of a tabby wandering through the debris of what was once a house. The twisted remains of the structure are all that is left. This was a common scene in Rockport, Texas where the photo was taken on August 28, 2017. This kitty was one of the lucky ones because a nearby neighbor took it in and provided it with much needed food and water. There are many more former pets who are still trying to navigate through the water and the rubble to find something to eat and a place to shelter.
6. Simba gets a ride
Naomi Coto is seen in this picture of evacuees, wading through calf deep flood waters with her dog Simba, draped neatly across her shoulders. She’s giving the pooch a lift above the stream that was once dry land, because he is too small to keep his head above the water line unless someone hoists him above it. This photo of the indundated region of Houston, Texas was taken on August 27, 2017.
7. Braving chest deep waters
This unidentified pet owner is walking his dog through the flood waters that run down what was once a city street. You can see that the water is up to this larger breed’s chest. If it was much deeper, the owner would have to join the hundreds of evacuees who were forced to carry their pets to safety. The two are seen making their way to a local shelter in the Beaumot Place, Houston region. The man in this photo is holding on to two bottles of water and you can see that the backpack he is wearing is also filled with safe drinking water.
8. Pup safe at evacuation center
This pup is finally settled in his temporary home at the Delco Center, which was being used as a temporary evacuation shelter in East Austin. He has food, clean water and a warm and dry place to lie down. The shelter has a maximum capacity for holding 350 people. At the time of this photo, taken on August 27, 2017, there was a total of 20 cats, 5 birds and 24 dogs in shelter. They had room for up to twenty more animals, depending on their size. These are the lucky pets that made it to safety, because there are many more missing and possibly dead, injured, or stranded animals that are still out there. All of the animals that are housed in this facility are fortunate enough to be there with their owners. Pets not represented by caregivers are taken to local shelters and foster homes.
9. Dramatic dog rescue in flooded residential street
This is one of the most dramatic photos that we’ve seen. A man is steadying himself by bracing on a stop sign as he attempts to make his way to a dog that is swimming towards him in need of rescuing from the raging torrent that is tearing down what was once a residential street. The water is moving quite swiftly and it could easily knock the would be rescuer off of his feet and sweep him away. We see a nearby fire hydrant that is almost under water so this gives us an idea of how deep the waters in this part of Houston are. The photo was taken on August 28th of 2017.
10. Woman evacuating with dog at dusk
This photo was taken in Houston, Texas on August 28, 2017. It shows a woman who is drenching wet, walking through flood waters carrying her small dog. The two both look like they’re shivering from exposure to the elements in the darkening skies. They are just reaching the area where higher ground is in sight and they will soon be able to stand on dry land and leave the water that they were forced to walk through. The woman’s home, located along Tidwell Road in the east part of Houston, was flooded by tropical storm Harvey’s torrential rains.
11. Waiting for help to arrive
An elderly man waits for a rescue boat to come and take he and his dogs past the flood waters to safety. He has managed to set the pups on a piece of debris that kept them from standing in the water that surrounded them. Also pictured are other people from the area who were forced to evacuate their homes because of the flooding. This photo was taken in Houston, Texas on August 28, 2017 after the rains from Harvey inundated the region with flood waters.
12. One of the most heartbreaking photos of Hurricane Harvey
Sam Speights makes it out of the flood waters alive and his three dogs are there with him, but it’s clear to see that he is fighting to hold back the tears and anguish as he observes that damage that the storm has done to his home in Rockport, Texas. He attempted to ride out the catastrophic event and shelter in place in his own home, but ater the roof fand back wall collapsed, he was forced to seek other sheltering options for he and his beloved pets. The photo was taken on August 27, 2017.
13. Lucky cats cozy in temporary home
Being in a cage may not seem like a real treat, but to these cats, it certainly beat the alternative. These two lucky felines are the pets of evacuees who managed to make it to safety at teh Delco Cener that is located in East Austin, Texas. They were forced to flee their homes as the flood waters continued to rise in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. This photo was taken on August 27, 2017.
14. Woman carrying dog to rescuer’s truck
This photograph shows a woman carrying her dog to the safety of a rescuer’s truck to escape the rising flood waters in her neighborhood in Dickinson, Texas. A collector’s military truck was used in the effort to evacuate people and pets who were trapped in flooded areas of the city. While this is usually a vehicle that would be kept safe in a garage somewhere, it was needed in the large scale effort to save as many people as possible, and transport them to the safety of shelters and homes that were located on higher ground. The photo was taken on August 27, 2017.
15. Disaster victims and pet escaping residential flooding from Harvey
A man helps a woman to wade through the flood waters that are cascading down what was once a residential street in the River Oaks neighborhood in Texas. Andrew White is the name of the brave man who assisted his neighbor after finding her in her home, which he accessed using his boat. The entire neighborhood was inundated with flood waters as a result of Hurricane Harvey. The picture was taken on August 27 of 2017. We see another evacuee in the background following behind them. River Oaks and several other neighborhoods were cut off from any type of rescue efforts and if not for the quick thinking of neighbors and volunteers who came into the area with watercraft, hundreds of residents would have been stranded in their homes in rising flood waters
16. Couple an their dogs at rescue shelter
Kenneth and Minnie Bice are shown in this photo that was taken at the M.O. Cambell Red Cross shelter, located in Aldine, Texas. They have their two small dogs with them in dry and safe beds provided by the shelter. Because pets are not allowed within the interior of the shelter, these two pet lovers opted to sleep on the portico so their dogs and their cat, housed in the kennel at the foot of the bed, could sleep with them. This photo was taken on August 28, 2017. Many of the shelters which are not set up to accommodate animals are willing to make concessions for pet owners, so long as the pets are kept on the outside of the facility. We can tell that this couple is willing to go to extreme measures to ensure that their furry family members are protected from all harm.
17. Woman draped in plastic holds dog awaiting rescue
This lady figured out how to stay somewhat dry as she reclines on an air mattress that keeps her and her pet poodle afloat above the flood waters. You can see a rescue helicopter hovering in the background. She is waiting for someone to come and rescue her and her pet in the Scarsdale Boulevard area of Houston, Texas. This photo was taken on August 27 of 2017 after the ravages of Hurricane Harvey inundated the neighborhood streets with torrential rains that caused the rising flood waters. You can see that this was once a busy street that led to a populated business area as it is lined with street lamps and the signs advertising local businesses. It’s amazing that the area still had electrical power after observing the depth of the flood waters.
18. Evacuees fleeing their homes post-Harvey
We see a man carrying his dog to safety in this photo that shows several rescue boats in the background. The streets are heavily flooded with water that is running in streams that resemble rivers. The dog is not at ease and seems to be struggling in fear because of the water running below him. The flooded streets are filled with countless other evacuees who are loading their belongings into water craft that will soon carry them all to safety as the waters continue to rise in the neighborhood. This is another photograph of a neighborhood in Houston, Texas. It was taken on August 28, 2017 after the rains produced by Hurricane Harvey flooded the streets, homes and businesses in this region of the state. The people who are seen still walking are headed towards the long string of boats that are coming and going in the rescue effort that would go on for several more days.
19. Couple and Pits are rescued from flooding
Cathy and John Cservek are shown in this photo, holding their dogs, Iggy and Lacy as they are being rescued from their home which has been flooded with the rising waters from Hurricane Harvey. This photo was taken in the city of Spring, Texas, where flood waters continued to rise for several days because of the torrential rains which pelted the region, turning city streets into rivers of toxic water. These pups are the lucky dogs from Hurricane Harvey, because they are still firmly in the possession of their owners. Many innocent pets were either swept away by the catastrophe, or have been separated from their families, and are still out there on their own somewhere. Local shelters are making a big effort to find and shelter stranded pets, and to reunite them with their owners, or find loving homes when the owners cannot be located.
20. Truckers getting out of flood waters with dog
These two men are doing their best to wade through the flood waters in Houston, Texas, to make it to higher ground. The neighborhood was completely inundated with flooding and the man in the front of the photo is keeping his dog elevated above the waters as they move forward.