Robeson County, N.C. (WRAL) -- When people evacuated ahead of Florence, some left animals behind. Now, rescuers are going in, trying to save some of the pets and livestock from the rising waters.
As pumps work to keep the Lumber River water levels from getting too high, K9 Global Rescue is continually moving, trying to save lives.
Drone video shows the site off N.C. Highway 130 in Robeson County, where hundreds of animals were left in unbearable conditions.
“I’ve been working in cruelty and working in investigations for more than ten years and I’ve never seen anything like this. There’s a total of, living and dead, more than 600 animals on site,” said Phil from K9 Global Rescue.
Phil, who asked that his last name not be used, said he is still processing what he has seen.
“Dogs tied to trees, chickens floating in water, dead horses, animals struggling to survive and taking their last breaths of air,” he said.
Volunteers from across the county have traveled to Robeson County to help.
“We had Carolina Water Fowl, we had Mission Canine out of Texas here to help, we had Guiding Spirit out of Arizona that was here, we had the U.S. Army and the North Carolina National Guard,” Phil said.
“They have been very helpful. They’ve rescued 97 dogs, 25 horses, one cow, four peacocks and 12 chickens,” said Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.
Animal cruelty investigator Katherine Floyd said she doesn’t think the abandoned animals are a casualty from Hurricane Florence, but was a “casualty in the making” before the storm hit.
“As bad as this hurricane was, I hate to say it, but this hurricane was probably the best thing for those animals back there because now they’re safe. Now they’re free and now they’re not suffering,” Phil said.