Devastating weather can leave entire communities in turmoil. Fire, snow, wind, and certainly rain can force families to flee from their homes—and sometimes, in their panic, family pets can get lost and left behind.
For one lucky dog left behind in Maurepas, Louisiana, during the chaos of severe flooding back in 2016, though, a good Samaritan’s sharp eye meant the difference between getting caught under the floodwaters and surviving.
Josh Pettit was patrolling the flooded streets of a small community about 15 minutes outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in the wake of devastating rains when he glanced over at a bush that seemed to be shaking.
Behind Vals in Maurepas making 1 last sweep if anyone knows anyone who needs out!
Upon closer inspection, he realized that the bush wasn’t actually moving on its own; there was a terrified dog, her head just barely above the water, trying to stay alive.
Pettit had been patrolling the streets for three days already in his boat, trying to find anyone who hadn’t been able to evacuate when the waters first started to rise.
He was exhausted and sleep-deprived, so he thought his eyes were playing tricks on him when he saw the dog—but sure enough, there was a sweet pup just moments from being submerged under the water’s surface!
He explained, via a Facebook post:
Out the corner of my eyes I seen a bush shaking! This is all I saw! Eyes and nose barely above water She could barely tread water anymore she was so worn out and had the saddest eyes I ever seen so scared for her life! We saved her and she came laid her head on my lap and cried and moaned like a big baby! She was thanking me. I thank God for letting me notice her. We then rescued a vet and his animals and she went with them to dry land.
Got Sadie back to her owner. She freaked out and ran away when he was putting the male in the truck. He said she was happy as can be!!! 🙏🏻😊
Unfortunately, not everyone caught up in the flooding had the same happy ending that the dog did.
The area that was hit by the flooding, which encompassed Southern Louisiana and parts of Mississippi, lacked the infrastructure in many areas for homes to properly evacuate—and lacked the financial stability to make it out safely with their belongings and a clear plan for the future.
In the few days that Pettit and others were out patrolling the floods in their boats, over 30,000 individuals had to be rescued, and over 60,000 had to sign up for federal disaster relief aid in order to rebuild their homes and lives. At least 11 people passed away, and undoubtedly countless animals joined that list.
Woke up and walked outside to see this and a bald Eagle flying over my house. That's a sign to unite and persevere…
As Pettit explained in his post, though, the incredible efforts made by the community to get everyone out safely showed just how incredible humanity is, even in the face of heartache and disaster.
“I’ve been non stop day and night for 3 days no sleep, physically and mentally exhausted,” he wrote on Facebook. “Rescuing hundreds of people from small kids to 80 yrs olds on roof tops and ontop of floating cars etc. This storm and rain was horrible but it’s nothing compared to the amount of care and selflessness and teamwork I’ve witnessed from everyone!”
On Facebook, the dog’s story quickly made the rounds—and others who had helped her during the confusion confirmed that her name was Sadie, and that she had run off before her family was able to get her into the car to evacuate. Luckily, she was left with a vet on dry land and eventually made it back to her owner!