Wanted: A ‘Furever’ Home
After perilous journey, Hurricane Florence rescue pets available for adoption in Bethesda and Gaithersburg this weekend
Lucky Dog volunteer Andrea Duer loading the rescue van
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue
As if fleeing the impending rains and winds of Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas wasn’t stressful enough, an animal rescue group’s mission to bring dozens of cats and dogs to Montgomery County for adoption ran into trouble when its van broke down Wednesday, just 90 minutes into the six-hour journey north.
Lucky Dog Animal Rescue of Arlington was attempting to rescue 36 cats and dogs from a shelter in Florence County, South Carolina, when the van’s alternator failed, leaving the volunteers and animals stranded at a North Carolina gas station off I-95. The rescue volunteers put out a call for help on social media and the local community quickly came to their aid.
“More than 55 people arrived at that gas station to help unload dogs and get them into air conditioned cars while we waited for a new van,” Lucky Dog officials said in a statement. “Army volunteers brought water. … Meanwhile, another good Samaritan paid to replace our van’s alternator so it could get back to SC.”
Thanks to the help of the greater Fayetteville, North Carolina, community, the Florence County animals, along with cats and dogs rescued from Hertsford County, North Carolina, finally arrived in the county Wednesday night, where they were taken in by foster families. The cats will be available for adoption Saturday at Pet Parents, a specialty pet supply store at 4913 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda. The dog adoption event is Sunday at PetSmart, 218 Kentlands Blvd., Gaithersburg. Both events run from noon to 2 p.m.
This was not Lucky Dog’s first rescue mission. Early this year, Lucky Dog rescued more than 150 animals from shelters in Hurricane Harvey’s dangerous path. The effort included a partnership with Southwest Airlines to fly 62 animals from Puerto Rico to the U.S.
“These evacuations are saving the lives of animals that have nowhere else to go,” Lucky Dog founder and Executive Director Mirah Horowitz said in a statement. “Animals in shelters that could flood—and no one would be there to know it. Animals who, because of the amazing efforts of our volunteers, will be safe and dry tonight.”
In an email to Bethesda Beat on Thursday, Horowitz said the rescued animals are doing “really well.” She said they are “going on walks, playing, getting much needed baths!”
“These animals are not broken or damaged, but wonderful pets who, through no fault of their own, found themselves in the shelter,” she said.
Here are a few of the animals that are available to be adopted:
Aptly named Stormy, a 3.5 month-old pit bull mix rescued from Florence County will be available at the PetSmart event. “She’s so sweet and affectionate,” her foster parent said in an email, adding that Stormy loves to cuddle, play with toys and doesn’t mind being in a crate.
“Tinker is an angel,” said the foster parent of the 2-year old lab mix that loves belly rubs and who will also be available at the Gaithersburg adoption event. “She was very scared when we first met her, and she’s still a little apprehensive, but she could not be sweeter.”
Ten-week old Juan “is an adorable little Dachshund mix with big soulful brown eyes and a heart to match” his foster parent said. “He is full of life and loves to play but can also chill out and snuggle up.” Juan is available for adoption at the PetSmart event.
Over 100 additional cats and dogs will be available at this weekend’s adoption events.