Alabama Animal Shelter Director Rescues a Struggling Dog From a Flood and Gets a Big, Sloppy Hug
An Alabama doggo is safe from a flood, and a local shelter director is a hero for making it so.
On March 18, a massive storm rolled through the town of Dothan, Ala., quickly overwhelming local creeks and putting a number of yards and low-lying areas under hip-deep water. Once the rain stopped, someone called the Dothan Police Department to report a dog who was tied up and struggling to keep their head above water, police wrote in a Facebook post.
Dothan Animal Shelter Director Bill Banks responded to the call and, unable to get in contact with the dog's owner, waded into the murky water not knowing what might be lurking under the surface or how friendly the distressed dog would be to strangers.
"Once I got down there, it wasn't but a minute or two before I had her free," Banks tells Daily Paws. "The water was waist deep, chest deep in some places.
"I got totally destroyed by fire ants," he says. "They were all over the surface of the water. They were all over my shirt, my arms. The dog was covered in them."
Faced with an animal in need, Banks heroically entered the fenced enclosure and freed the struggling pooch, who thanked him with a wet, sloppy hug that was captured in a photo.
In the post, the Dothan Police Department was effusive in their praise for the director.
"Director Banks' selflessness and care for animals reflects greatly on himself, the Dothan Animal Shelter, and the city of Dothan," the post reads.
For his part, Banks is quick to point out that the situation was a fluke and the pup's owner isn't to blame.
"In all the years I've been here, that creek has never come up that far before," he says. "I got ahold of the owner at the time, but he was in the next state, taking care of some business and was headed back when I talked to him. I think he got home about a half an hour after I pulled [the dog] out."
Banks says he tied the dog up closer to the home and that the grateful owner has already relocated the dog house and enclosure even further up the property, to prevent a similar situation from ever happening again.