Reunited and It Feels So Good: The Happiest Pet Reunions Out of Last Year's Hurricanes
PRINCESS AND JIMMY JOHN
Like many pet parents caught in last year's hurricanes, Marilyn Kilgore had to leave her home not knowing if she would see her animals again. So the owner of Princess the cat and Jimmy John the blue Beta fish was ecstatic when the ASPCA's Field Investigations and Response Team discovered that both animals survived Hurricane Harvey inside Marilyn's flooded home. Princess was found holed up in a boxspring and Jimmy John was found calmly swimming in his bowl, which was resting on one of the floor's few dry spots. Both were safely reunited with Marilyn.
After Hurricane Maria, Katherine Collazo Dixon's family left Puerto Rico but couldn't bring their dog Melao along. They refused to give up on the canine and the bond he had with Dixon's brother Jonathon, who has Down syndrome. In May, they arranged a flight with Wings of Rescue, a non-profit that flew Melao to his new home.
Aaron Vargas and his family were frantic when their dog Tank went missing during Hurricane Harvey. They searched for him for days but found nothing. It was the Houston Humane Society that ended up finding Tank and caring for him for two weeks before locating the Vargases and reuniting them with their pet.
With floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey rising, Candice Windham and her son Carter had to leave their second-story apartment by boat. Their cat Garfield couldn't come with them. Candice called the Houston SPCA, which, with help from greatergood.org, sent their own boat, saved Garfield and held onto the cat until Candice and Carter could care for him again.
The life Jose and Raymond built together was washed away by Hurricane Maria, forcing them to leave the island and move to the States without their beloved dog. A volunteer with The Sato Project, a Puerto Rico-based rescue, took the dog and got her back to them five months later. "It was like getting back a piece of our hearts," Jose says.
Brus is one of the numerous pets animal rescuers are helping this year. Shortly after a volcano erupted on Hawaii's Big Island this spring, Aloha Ilio Rescue president Daylynn Kyles learned that one of her former foster dogs, Brus, was in danger. While the dog's owner was evacuating, Brus had run off, getting lost in an area with active lava flow. Kyles and two volunteers searched the area several times after the owner evacuated, evetually finding Brus 10 days after he disappeared. Brus will be reunited with his owner, whose house was destroyed by the lava flow, once they find a new place to live.