When Connor awoke on Thursday morning, he had no clue he was going to save the lives of two lab mixes named Thelma and Hercules who were trapped in the path of Hurricane Harvey.
The 22-year-old college student had just finished his summer internship and was preparing to return to school when he saw his mother, a volunteer for Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption, feverishly reading the rescue’s social media posts that morning.
Thelma and Hercules were at a foster home in Corpus Christi that had to be evacuated. The rescue was in desperate need of a driver to transport the dogs north, as well as new foster homes to keep them safe.
That’s when Connor made the decision to embark on a road trip. “Why not, I said?” Connor, who requested anonymity for his last name, told The Dodo, “And hopped in my pickup.”
He left Austin and made his way to Corpus Christi. Thousands of automobiles were fleeing the approaching storm, but he was heading straight for it. Connor explained, “I didn’t really think – I simply assumed someone needed to help them.”
The young man had never done a dog shipment before, but Stephanie Broughton, Lucky Lab’s Texas transportation manager, walked him through all he needed to know.
Normally, the rescue utilizes cages and slip leads, but Connor didn’t have time to gather equipment in the rush to get the dogs out of harm’s way. “I directed him to tighten the dogs’ collars and to carry each dog to the van one at a time.” It was also crucial to secure each dog in his truck so that they couldn’t leap out and run away with the door open, according to Broughton.
Connor successfully loaded Thelma when he arrived at the Corpus Christi pick-up site three hours later.
Hercules proved to be a little more difficult. He’d recently been neutered and was stumbling about the car in his massive cone. Connor explained, “He found out where he could and couldn’t go.”
Connor maintained contact with Broughton and his mother during the journey. He successfully transported all of the dogs to their new foster homes after a grueling day that lasted into the night.
Connor has now been dubbed the “hurricane hero” by Lucky Lab. “Connor essentially saved the day by stopping everything and travelling four hours to an area about to be blasted by a hurricane,” Broughton explained. “He is a nice young man who sacrificed selflessly to save several pets.” He has now been designated as a’rescue road warrior,’ for which we are eternally thankful.”
Connor is one of a slew of fantastic heroes to emerge from Texas thus far. Renee Nank and Cindy Cox, two animal rescues from South Texas, also rushed to get animals out of municipal facilities before they were killed.
Nank told The Dodo, “There are a lot of really dedicated people who have spent hours and hours working very hard, travelling many miles to save many lives.”
Nank and Cox’s automobiles were crammed with crates in order to securely transport as many animals as possible. Lucky Lab Rescue and Adoption took in these puppies.
Austin Pets Alive also received other dogs and kittens.
As soon as she heard about the storm, Cindy Cox was ready to go. “To save these creatures, I play puppy and kitten Tetris to fill every possible space in my vehicle,” Cox told The Dodo. “Can you imagine how awful it would be if these animals had no secure places to go and no one to drive them?”
And it appears that rescuing runs in the family for Connor. “The foster families were all overjoyed to see the puppies I brought with me. “I’d do it all over again,” Connor stated.