Pewaukee nonprofit rescues 8 animals, Florence survivors, in less than 24 hours

FAIR BLUFF, N.C. -- Not everyone could make it out of Hurricane Florence's path on their own. Some needed a helping hand, or in this case, paw.

Operation Bring Animals Home, a search and rescue team, receives calls about animals in need and then goes out to investigate. In many cases, they find animals left on their own to survive the storm.

"They are not well taken care of. There are a lot of them that are tied to trees and live in somebody's yard," said Caryn Buege.

Caryn Buege

FOX6 News met up with Buege on Sunday, Sept. 16 as she left Pewaukee with her nonprofit organization. She made her way to Fair Bluff, North Carolina, rescuing dogs and cats stranded in the hurricane's aftermath.

"It's very difficult to get to these areas," said Buege.

Buege on Tuesday, Sept. 18 showed us a dog who was among the first to be rescued when her team arrived on Monday night. The dog survived Florence's heavy rain and flooding.

"All of the rivers are basically starting to crest and overflow. There is one that is 64 feet above its normal resting level," said Buege.

Weak and frail, the dog was found with multiple tumors growing just under her skin.

"Sometimes dogs who are really sick or full of cancer actually start to smell like death," said Buege.

Other animals were left with nothing to eat, or tied to posts in front yards.

"The food in that kennel was the food we brought. At least release your animals from the kennel that they are in, or untie them from the tree or house," said Buege.

The biggest reward for Buege and her group was saving these lives, and giving these animals a second chance.

"We rescued eight animals (Monday) night. They have a couple of cats in the area that they are trying to rescue right now," said Buege on Tuesday.

Buege's team has assisted after nearly every major hurricane since Katrina in 2005, when they rescued 135 pets.