A dog-loving truck driver bought an old yellow school bus, wrote Emergency Animal Rescue Shelter on the side, and headed straight into areas ravaged by Hurricane Florence to rescue dogs and cats stranded in the Carolinas by record-breaking floods.
Tony Alsup, a 51-year-old truck driver from Greenback, Tennessee, first started rescuing animals after Hurricane Harvey devastated the Texas coast last year.
Watching the news, he was profoundly affected by story after story of dogs stranded in rising floodwaters and area shelters overcrowded with dogs abandoned by their families. Tony wanted to help transport animals to other shelters around the country, but knew he couldn’t move dogs and cats inside his 18-wheeled semi-truck. So, he spent $3,200 on an old yellow school bus and began a journey that would ultimately save the lives of hundreds of animals.
After moving dogs and cats out of Texas, Alsup headed to Florida to help those impacted by Irma. He flew to Puerto Rico to save even more. And now, he’s in South Carolina loading up his Emergency Animal Rescue Shelter – the old yellow school bus – with animals at risk following Hurricane Florence.
Last Monday, when Alsup began rescuing animals from Florence, with crates and kennels stacked floor to ceiling, pet food, bowls, leashes, and toys strewn about the aisle, he told his Facebook followers that he had room for more and asked where he was needed. “NO ONE LEFT BEHIND,” he wrote in one Facebook post.
In only a few days, Alsup rescued 64 animals – 53 dogs and 11 cats – and bused them to a shelter in Alabama where they received baths, warm bedding, and a safe place to sleep until they find new homes or fosters.
Now, he’s headed for Wilmington, North Carolina, an area severely impacted by Florence. Although roads are flooded and getting there will be a challenge, Alsup said he heard a shelter there needs help, so he’s got to try.
As long as he’s able, animals around the country can bet that when they need him, Tony Alsup will do his best to save a busload (literally!) of them.