Hurricane Matthew ended up causing more flooding in Pinetops, NC, than many people ever thought it would.
As a result, some evacuating families had to leave everything behind, including, in some cases, their beloved pets.
It sounds cruel, but leaving pets behind isn’t the families’ choice. Many Pinetops residents were only capable of taking one pet with them.
Luckily, they had a friend in Alex Layton. Layton, who fosters and rescues dogs, was one of many volunteers ready to brave the murky waters and round up all the animals left behind, even the tiniest ones.
Many fleeing residents had even left their keys with her, so she could go into their homes and get their pets to a safe place to await their humans’ return.
Of course, it wasn’t always so easy. Sometimes she could guide her boat up a flooded driveway, but other times, she and her team members had to shove open doors in waist-deep water.
Once inside the houses, Layton and her team would search for the terrified animals, who could usually be found on the highest perches they could find.
“They were on the highest parts of the house,” she says, describing a family of cats she found in one home. “Above the kitchen cabinet; on the back of the sink. It was pitiful.”
The experience was a grueling one for Layton and the rest of the volunteers, but also a rewarding one. In all, 27 dogs, four cats, one horse, and a chinchilla were rescued.
Check out the daring rescued below!