Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls couldn’t believe his eyes. While leading a TV news crew on a survey of damage caused by severe flooding in Fort Bend, Texas, last month, he spotted a dog neck-deep in rising floodwaters and on the verge of drowning on the front porch of an abandoned house.
Phil Archer, a KPRC-TV reporter, and volunteer Jeff Shimek jumped out of the boat and waded over to the dog. They tried grabbing her, but she wouldn’t budge. That’s when they made a horrifying discovery. “They chained [her] to the front of the $#*& house?!” one of the men exclaimed. They quickly unfastened the terrified animal, loaded her onto the boat, and whisked her to safety. Reportedly, the crew returned to the area later and rescued several more dogs from the floodwaters.
Sheriff Nehls took the dog—later named Archer in honor of the reporter—to a local humane society. Her owner was eventually located—he said he had been barred from returning to his home but apparently had never told authorities about the dog—and he opted to surrender her. Sheriff Nehls, after taking his family to visit Archer at the shelter, decided to rescue her permanently by adopting her. “There’s a bond this dog and I have now that will remain with us,” he said. “She’s not tied up to a front porch. Now she’s in a home that is comfortable, she’s sleeping on a bed, and she gets constant attention from the family. I truly believe this dog has a new outlook on her life.”
In honor of the rescuers’ heroic actions, PETA presented Sheriff Nehls and his department a Compassionate Police Department Award, while Archer (the reporter) and Shimek both received Compassionate Action Awards. Archer (the dog) got a box of delicious vegan dog treats and a toy.
“Thanks to the persistence and bravery of these individuals, this dog survived a terrifying ordeal and found a loving home,” said PETA Vice President Colleen O’Brien. “We encourage everyone to take their heroic actions as a reminder to have a disaster-preparedness plan for animals in place.”
PETA offers the following tips for keeping animal companions safe during a flood or other disaster:
- Have your animals microchipped, and put secure, legible ID tags on them.
- Never leave them outdoors, tied up, or confined in any way, as they will be trapped and unable to escape rising waters.
- In the event of an evacuation, never leave them behind to fend for themselves.
- Plan your emergency destination ahead of time. Shelters for human victims often won’t allow animals, but motels in the area will probably accept them in an emergency.