Fernando Oropeza walks up the stairs after taking his dog Simon out for a walk at a hotel on September 10, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida. With businesses closed, thousands in shelters and a mandatory evacuation in coastal communities, the Fort Myers area prepares for a possibly catastrophic storm.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Natural disasters bring out the best in some humans.
One such saint can be seen in this video, posted on Sunday by @HurricaneAlive.
It appears to show a man driving around Beaumont Texas, in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, finding stray dogs and ones who have been left behind when their owners evacuated.
Ahead of Hurricane Harvey, the story of Betty Walter and the seven dogs rescued from her flooded home was a small piece of good news among the tragedy.
During Irma, volunteers have turned their homes into temporary pet shelters.
Animal welfare organisations such as Humane have provided space for strays and abandoned pooches at their branches in Atlanta and Roswell, Georgia.
A few of our evacuees with their family at our emergency animal shelter in Roswell. #HurricanIrma https://t.co/niJSXUqOUA
Pet owners who abandon their animals threatened with legal action
Animal owners in south Florida who abandon their animals may face felony charges, according to the director of Palm Berach County Animal Care and Control.
Director Dianne Suave told USA Todaythat her agency found at least 40 dogs in the days after Irma.
The dogs had been tied up or left in enclosed spaces by their owners.
There is absolutely no excuse for doing that.
Similarly the Florida Department of Health warned residents not to leave their pets tied up during Irma.
Do not leave your dogs tied up or chained when evacuating. Floodwaters are dangerous for people & pets. #Irma #FLprepares
— Florida Dept. of Health (@Florida Dept. of Health)
According to Suave, owners who voluntarily surrender their pets to shelters should be aware that this means they cannot collect the pet again after Hurricane Irma has passed.
As such she called on owners to keep their pets with them.
It's always disappointing.
Our goal is to keep pets and people together...I feel torn about that at times, but we're not a boarding facility.
She also reported that animal caretakers often see a spike in the numbers of animal injuries after a natural disaster - usually because animals are let out, become confused by the debris, and end up harming themselves.
Animal welfare group PETA also shared some life saving tips for pets.
If you are being evacuated, never leave animals behind. There is no way of knowing what may happen to your home while you are away, and you may not be able to return for days or even weeks.
Animal companions left behind may become malnourished or dehydrated or be crushed by collapsing walls.
They may drown or escape in panic and become lost. Know your destination ahead of time. Not all emergency shelters accept animals, but many hotels take animals (most suspend 'no pet' policies during disasters, thankfully).
Place small animals in secure carriers. Dogs should be leashed and wearing harnesses. Be sure to take the animal emergency kit that you’ve prepared.