When disaster strikes out of nowhere, it’s almost always the most vulnerable who suffer the biggest consequences. As the situation worsens, they’re defenseless if they don’t have someone to step in and take care of them.
That’s just what happened to one little pup during the historic flooding in Houston, Texas, in 2016. First spotted by an officer and the crew from a local television station, she was fighting for her life. The crew knew that they were her last hope of survival. But would they be too late?
In 2016, rain had been falling nonstop in Richmond, Texas, and the Brazos River rose to levels that hadn’t been seen in over 100 years. Everyone who lived in the immediate area was told to evacuate their homes; it was just too dangerous to stay.
In response, Sheriff Troy Nehls and his team had been driving around in a small boat looking for stranded people to help. They slowly made their way through the flooded neighborhood streets when they saw something unexpected…
Among the dozens of abandoned, waterlogged homes, they noticed some movement up ahead. A small face was peeking above the water, and as they drew closer, they realized it was a dog. The poor thing was barely able to keep her snout above the surface.
They recognized that she was a border collie, but with no idea where the struggling dog’s owner was, the team knew it was up to them to save her life. But getting to her was only half the battle—they’d also have to gain her trust.
The crew shouted out to the dog over and over again, but it didn’t seem like she could hear their calls. Finally, as the men approached in their boat, she turned her head and looked directly at them. She seemed like she was in complete shock.
At first, the crew wondered why the dog remained motionless. Was she just being loyal to her home, or was something else at play? Moments later, it was clear that something was preventing her from swimming toward them…
“The only thing we could see was her head above the water,” Sheriff Nehls recalled of the incident. “I had a news crew with me filming the flooding, and I said, ‘We have to get that dog out.'” They had no choice but to go toward her.
The crew pulled up their boat as close as possible to the terrified pooch, and two of the rescuers stepped into the waist-deep water and carefully approached her. That was when they realized why she couldn’t swim to them: she’d been chained to her family’s front porch—and then abandoned.
Unsure of her possible injuries, the crew knew they had to transport her to a veterinary clinic as fast as they could. She’d be chained to one spot and stuck in muddy water for who knows how long. Still, as scared as she seemed, she must have been incredibly relieved to be free again.
The rescuers loaded her onto their boat and brought her directly to the Houston Humane Society. There she was given a proper bath and checked for any injuries. Soon enough, she was like a brand new dog!
“This is the girl we found chained to a house yesterday. She is certainly looking a little happier while getting a warm bath!” Sheriff Nehls wrote on Facebook. “The Humane Society is calling her ‘Archer’ and she’ll be ready for adoption soon.”
While at the Humane Society, the crew learned that five other abandoned dogs had also been rescued from the dangerous waters. Residents had been so concerned for their own lives that they’d forgotten—or simply not cared—to consider their pets.
Luckily, Archer didn’t sustain any serious injuries while chained to her front porch in the floodwaters. That meant she could be placed for adoption to live with a new family. There was, however, still a surprise ahead for her…
Sheriff Nehls and his family were so taken with the dog that they decided to adopt her themselves! Archer was clearly traumatized, but once she was brought into the sheriff’s home and given some much-needed snuggles, she was happy again.
Sheriff Nehls was elated to provide the dog with a loving home. “I am happy to say the only water this girl will be in now is the swimming pool in my backyard,” he wrote on his Facebook page…
Archer had been abandoned by her owner—who was still unknown—but, thankfully, she wouldn’t ever have to suffer such an ordeal again. “We picked her up today from the Houston Humane Society. Welcome to the family!” said Sheriff Nehls.
Archer’s rescue became the talk of the town, and the local news channel even produced a story about her. Unfortunately, not every animal was as lucky as Archer during the flood. Still, the sheriff and his crew were thrilled they were able to save this adorable dog.
Now, Archer’s living a great life with a family who wants nothing more than to give her the care and attention she deserves. Hopefully, she’ll never have to go through another experience like this again…
It’s nice to know there are people who will actually venture into disastrous areas searching for not just people to rescue, but their pets, too. Pets rely on their owners to evacuate safely in dangerous situations, and these heroes were relieved they found Archer before it was too late.
No animal should ever have to find itself in Archer’s life-or-death predicament. It sure was a good thing this pooch found a loving family that would treat her as a member of their home—and never abandon her in a crisis!
What an amazing rescue! Luckily, Archer is safe and sound now with a family who clearly loves her.
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