Coast Guard uses boats and helicopters to save pets effected by the disaster.

Families devastated by the snow and floods in North Dakota are getting help for their pet family members, too. When the Coast Guard bravely swoops in to rescue people stuck in the rising, freezing flood waters, they’re making room for beloved animals. That’s a big improvement from the tragedies of Hurricane Katrina when people weren’t allowed to bring pets, which led to many animals being left behind.

Machinery Technician 3rd Class Dan Fraley, pictured here, used an airboat to rescue a dog from an Oxbow-area woman’s home on Thursday. Nearby Petty Officer 1st Class Gabe Wilch helped a family leave the flood waters and lifted their cat out in a carrier. The Coast Guard even used helicopter buckets to rescue at least three dogs and a cat.

In video shot by the Coast Guard, an HH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, from Air Station Traverse City, Mich., rescued three people, including one with a head injury, and a dog and cat. After the people were evacuated, the Coast Guard put the cat’s carrier in the basket and reeled it up to safety. The dog didn’t have a carrier, so the people made a makeshift one by punching holes in a tub container.

The Red Cross is reminding animal people: “Don’t forget to prepare to evacuate your pets. Assemble a pet disaster kit (collar, leach, ID Food, carrier, bowl).” We applaud rescuers efforts and hope that all of the people and pets are safely evacuated!