Rescue animals find safe haven in Pender County - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Rescue animals find safe haven in Pender County

As people evacuated parts of Pender County to escape dangerous flood waters, many things were left behind, in some cases that includes the family's beloved pets (Source: WECT.) As people evacuated parts of Pender County to escape dangerous flood waters, many things were left behind, in some cases that includes the family's beloved pets (Source: WECT.)
PENDER COUNTY, NC (WECT) -

As people evacuated parts of Pender County to escape dangerous flood waters, many things were left behind, in some cases that includes the family's beloved pets.

That's where the Pender County Animal Shelter and volunteer organizations stepped in to help.

"We just started pulling out what we could find that was already starting to become stranded in the waters," said Shelter Manager Jewell Horton.

Horton has spent the week on boats in nearby rivers with trained animal rescue teams, searching for stranded animals. She said they've rescued dozens over the past few days, each one coming at a crucial time. "I don't think they would made it if they hadn't gotten out when they did," added Horton.

The shelter welcomed two new dogs Saturday afternoon, marking another successful mission for Horton. It's moments like stepping off the boat with a rescued animal that makes the countless hours of work worth it.

"You want to comfort them, you want them to feel safe you want them to feel warm," said Horton. "You want them to eat, have clean water and have good food."

Her shelter provides those necessary items to the animals, creating a world of difference for these animals compared to what they had to brave out in the floods alone. Horton saw them in the elements first-hand.

"I know from being out there with them, how cold they were and how scared they were," said Horton. "That definitely is enough to drive you to go back day after day and try to get more out."

That motivation is fueled when the shelter reunites people with their beloved pets. Horton remembers the moment she called a pet owner to tell her they had saved her precious horse.

"That was a bright light for her in a bleak situation," said Horton. "For some of these people, the pets are just like family, they just ran out of time."

Horton and her crew's work is not done yet. She said there are at least 30 more reports of animals in need of help and she won't stop until they are all saved.

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