Rescuing Animals as Flood Waters Crest

As Memphis continues to see the Mississippi River crest at historic levels, residents could be dealing with high water levels into June. Of course, natural disasters don’t only effect the people living in the area but also the pets.

American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ team has been hard at work rescuing animals and helping pet owners during this disaster. American Humane Association staff and volunteers deployed to Shelby County, Tenn. with a convoy of support vehicles, including a 16-wheel, 82-foot-long Rescue Rig; a four-wheel-drive pickup truck; and a horse trailer! They are also providing important emotional support to the human victims as well. Most disaster shelters will not allow people to bring their pets with them. At American Humane’s temporary shelter, pet owners are allowed to visit their pets and when they are able to move out of shelters, families and pets are reunited.

Just one of many stories from the rescue efforts: American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ team was returning from a mission assignment when they saw a man and woman near the road in a flooded area.  They pulled over to find the woman in tears and found that the couple had 2 dogs that were stranded by the flooding and they didn’t know what they were going to do to get them out.  The team offered their help and with the permission of the two owners went into the area, located the dogs and brought them to dry land.  The couple was then amazed and grateful to find out that there was also an emergency animal shelter that they could comfortably settle the dogs into while they dealt with the flooding of their home. This morning the two dogs are dry, fed and sleeping for the first time in several days.  And their once tearful and desperate owners are free from anxiety and worry about their beloved pets also for the first time in days.

Close to 200 animals are already receiving care in a fully-equipped emergency shelter that can house 1,000 animals. Volunteers are stationed at the human Red Cross Shelters to facilitate the intake of pets from evacuated families. There have been rescues of dogs, cats and even a guinea pig! As of May 9th, these are the current numbers:

15 — Red Star team members on site in Federal Disaster Area of Shelby County, Tenn.

3 — American Humane Association emergency vehicles sent to Tennessee — including 82-foot-long tractor-trailer Rescue Rig

40 — Animals rescued by Red Star from storms and flooding in Memphis area

174 — Cats and dogs in the competent care of Red Star until they can be reunited with their families

1,000 — Animal capacity of American Humane Association’s temporary animal shelter in Memphis

To learn more about American Humane Association’s work in Memphis, and to keep up with their ongoing rescue efforts, please visit the American Humane Association website.


Photo provided by American Humane Association.


W. C
W. C5 months ago

Thank you.

William C
William C5 months ago


Masha Samoilova
Past Member 6 years ago

wonderful work they're doing

Vanessa B.
Vanessa B6 years ago

Again thank you to all the groups who are out there helping the animals.

Shirley E.
Shirley E6 years ago

They get a woof and a miaow of appreciation from me!

Susan S.
Susan S6 years ago

What an incredible rescue operation. These brave and dedicated people deserve our wholehearted support. I saw a news report and there is a danger of alligators and snakes in the waters, so this rescue operation is even trickier than it looks on the video. I will send more donations to animal welfare and relief agencies to help in these disasters (flooding in Manitoba, fires in Alberta, flooding in the southern states...the list is endless).

KrassiAWAY B.
Krasimira B6 years ago


Judith Corrigan
Judith Corrigan6 years ago

Well Done to all involved.

Dagmar Bajinski
Dagmar B6 years ago

It's just overwhelming! These people are rightfully called heroes! I have so much respect for them. Hats off to them!

Rosemary B.
Rosemary B6 years ago

I donated just today! So happy I did!!! Thanks for a job well-doing!!!