Florida took the brunt of Hurricane Ian, leaving 600,000 without power a week after the storm made landfall. Over 1,600 people needed rescue, and the missions are ongoing a week later. Likewise, many animals and pets needed and need rescue. While there were so many tragedies, we’re focusing on a few of the happy stories to help us get through these difficult times.
“Pets are family. Period,” the Orange County government wrote on Facebook, as they rescued pets and their humans together.
Below are some of the amazing pictures they shared:
Man Rescues Cat Later Named Ian
One of the rescues that went viral was that of a Good Samaritan, Mike Ross, 29, who saved an orange tabby from floodwaters. The cat climbed on top of an AC unit in Naples as the water rushed beneath.
He spotted the “terrified” cat from a window near his parent’s home, where he had taken shelter. It was Wednesday around 2 p.m., and Hurricane Ian hadn’t even made landfall yet.
Ross carried the cat safely through the rushing water while his mother caught it on video.
“Look at Michael saving the kitty. Awww,” said Maybeth Ross.
Later, when Ross’s girlfriend Megan Scavo shared a Tweet of the video, it went viral. Many people told the woman to marry this man for his kindness.
“I’m sorry, Megan, but he is everyone’s boyfriend now,” someone replied.
Video by CBS News:
Unfortunately, his home in Bonita Springs was destroyed, but the family plans to keep the kitty if they don’t find the owner. They named the cat Ian but later said they may change the name to Storm since they believe the cat is female.
Our #HurricaneIan cat is starting to explore the safe parts of our home. We believe she is female, so may rename her “Storm.”
It’s clear from her stealth mode behavior she is still very scared/traumatized, but she’s starting to come around. pic.twitter.com/70SuIQ7snv
— Megan Cruz Scavo (@MeganScavo) October 3, 2022
Scavo started a GoFundMe to raise funds to pay for the damage to their home. They will donate half to the Naples Humane Society. So far, they have raised over $23K.
Tampa Police Rescue Kitten
As Hurricane Ian bore down on Tampa, officers saved another kitty. This time, they found the kitten at the Florida and Fletcher Avenue intersection. Then, they took the kitten in the patrol car to the Veterinary Emergency Group.
Within an hour, a family came forward to adopt the kitten, initially naming the kitty Ian. Like the kitten saved by Ross, they chose another name when they learned the kitten was female. This time, instead of Storm, they chose Stormie.
The Tampa Police said rescuing Stormie was a “bright spot in the storm” on Facebook.
In the comments, many others shared stories of saving animals during the storm.
Police and Humane Society Team Up to Help Animals
Wonderfully, the Tampa Humane Society shared that the Tampa Police came by multiple times to check on the staff and animals during Hurricane Ian. Fortunately, the building never lost power and was safe as staff remained on site to care for all kinds of animals. Some of them brought their families and pets to the shelter to help during the storm.
“THANK YOU, Tampa Police Department Thank you to our friends, TPD, for coming by to check on us and the animals multiple times during Hurricane Ian! Our puppies loved the cuddles. We love our first responders!” the Humane Society shared. “Stopping by to check on your facility brought joy to our officers during a stressful time,” the police replied.
The Tampa Humane Society has taken in animals from a flooded Southwest Florida shelter. They will also work with charities like Greater Good to distribute food and supplies to Florida shelters.
“These are just some of the faces affected by the hurricane, who came from an impacted shelter in Southwest Florida,” they shared.
In the aftermath of devastating Hurricane Ian, focusing on the rescued animals sure does help. There are always so many kind people out there who go to incredible lengths for one another and for animals.
“As we approach a new week after Hurricane Ian and with our hearts and minds still with the devastation done, we find that sometimes the best way to relax is to look at cute animals!” they shared.