Natural disasters like typhoons, hurricanes, and earthquakes cannot be avoided. People can prepare for it in a multitude of ways such as storing food, enforcing their shelter and evacuation. Sadly, a family’s evacuation plans do not include pets and animals. Somehow, even how much a family loves and cares for them they are forgotten. Luckily, a good Samaritan provided a way of rescuing dogs that are left behind.
Tony Alsup, 51-year-old trucker of Tennessee bought a school bus in order to rescue shelter animals and pets left during the devastation of Typhoon Florence.
A total number of 11 cats and 53 dogs have been rescued by Alsup. The next morning, he came back in search for animals that might have been left.
Inside the bus, the seats are ripped off to give room to animals that will occupy the bus. He also provided for pet food, water bowls, toys and other necessities a dog or cat would need while Alsup looks for vacant shelters that would take in and care for the lost animals that they have found.
In an interview, Alsup said that he knows that those animals have lives as well. Animals like those from shelters are always finding themselves right at the back of the bus. That is why is has thought of giving them their very own bus to ride in. It does not matter to him if he has to pay for fuel to transfer the animals or maybe even get a boat. He will get the dogs out.
What motivated Alsup in rescuing animals left during a storm was the news that a lot of shelters have become overcrowded with rescued and lost animals. In order to attain his goal of transporting animals to vacant shelters, he purchased a bus wherein expenses of fuel and other costs are shouldered by him.
Prior to the occurrence of Typhoon Florence, Alsup rescued “leftover” pets during Typhoon Irma and Maria. However, on the devastation of Typhoon Maria, he was not able to utilize the bus but he volunteered to feed the horses.
For the purpose of public awareness, he posted “No one left behind,” encouraging his followers to direct him on places that need his help as his bus have room for more animals to rescue.
Upon safekeeping the rescued animals, Alsup drove to Foley, Alaska where his friend operated a privately-owned animal shelter. Alsup even added that the animals were given “spa treatments and fluffy blankets” before finding shelters that will take care of them and foster homes that can aid in finding the animals’ forever homes.
People were able to adopt some rescued animals on the spot, while Alsup coordinated with volunteers and other animal shelters in order to give out 40 more animals. After this, he plans to roam around vacant shelters where remaining animals will hopefully be sheltered in.
In late Sunday, Saint Frances Animal Center posted on their Facebook account that Alsup was taking in all of their “leftover pets” or animals that no one would take in on their homes. “Not the most conventional evacuation, but surely the one with the most heart.”