Hurricane Harvey was devastating for the city of Houston, where an unprecedented 51 inches of rain fell on the major city in just a few days’ time.
With a number of families trapped in their homes amidst the rapidly rising waters, too many pets were left to fend for themselves—but luckily, kind strangers like this old man were able to rescue at least a few of the city’s furry friends left unexpectedly stranded.
“We’ve got somebody who left a dog,” the man explained in a now-viral video, hiking his pants up above his knees and going to wade through the flowing waters, over to a house across the street.
As the video explained, waters on many Houston streets were rising as much as two or three inches an hour, making escape nearly impossible for many who initially thought they would have more time before the floodwaters arrived.
Knowing how quickly the water levels were going up, the man dashed across the road to a dog he saw along the side of someone’s home, dancing back and forth across bags of sand. The water hadn’t reached the canine neighbor yet, but it was getting close; within a few hours, there would be nowhere left for the dog to go.
“It was imperative to get him as soon as possible,” the man explained, coaxing the dog to follow him before helping it swim across the road—by that point, a river.
This was one of hundreds of stories similar in nature across Houston during Hurricane Harvey, with an estimated 1,000 displaced pets heading to Austin shelters alone. The rapid flooding left many without homes, and uncertainty about the friendliness of shelters towards four-legged friends forced many to make tough decisions when fleeing the waters.
Luckily, this particular instance ended well; the kind human neighbor held on to his new pal for three days, then reunited him with his owners when they were able to return to their home in the aftermath of the storm.