'Modern-day Noah’ going viral after risking his life to save over 60 animals from Hurricane Florence.

It’s an unfortunate reality that pets are often that last concerns people have when a disaster hits.

Hurricane evacuations often result in animal shelters filling up at a time when they are most vulnerable to flooding.

Overcrowding can force shelters to euthanize many of the abandoned or lost pets.


Tony Alsup, a 51-year-old trucker from Greenback, Tennessee, is being hailed as a modern day Noah for refusing to turn his back on the dogs and cats at shelters in Hurricane Florence's path.

When Alsup heard there were numerous animal centers dealing with overcrowding, he bought a bus to transport them to safety. “I thought, well what can I do?” he told The Washington Post. “I’ll just go buy a bus.”

Alsup drove north, stopping at five South Carolina shelters threatened by Florence: the Humane Society of North Myrtle Beach, the Dillon County Animal Shelter, another in Orangeburg, and Saint Frances Animal Center in Georgetown.

Before the hurricane made landfall, Alsup was able to fill his massive, yellow school bus with 53 dogs and 11 cats, and headed south.

During his mission, he stopped at a Waffle House and took a moment to speak with The Washington Post.

“I’m like, look, these are lives too,” Alsup said while dining on waffles and grits. “Animals  — especially shelter pets — they always have to take the back seat of the bus. But I’ll give them their own bus. If I have to I’ll pay for all the fuel, or even a boat, to get these dogs out of there.”

Alsup dropped off the first load of pets at a friend's privately-run shelter in Foley, Alabama. After their long journey, the refugee animals received baths and were given warm, fluffy blankets.

He then drove on to Knoxville, Tennessee to drop off the final 40 or so dogs and cats which were distributed to local shelters.

On Monday, September 17, Alsup headed back north to Wilmington, North Carolina where he heard there are more shelters in need.

You can help fund Alsup’s relief efforts via PayPal.

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When Molly Reeser was a student at Michigan State University, she took a job mucking horse stalls to help pay for classes. While she was there, she met a 10-year-old girl named Casey, who was being treated for cancer, and — because both were animal lovers — they became fast friends.

Two years later, Casey died of cancer.

"Everyone at the barn wanted to do something to honor her memory," Molly remembers. A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but Molly knew that there was a bigger, more enduring way to do it.

"I saw firsthand how horses helped Casey and her family escape from the difficult and terrifying times they were enduring. I knew that there must be other families who could benefit from horses in the way she and her family had."

Molly approached the barn owners and asked if they would be open to letting her hold a one-day event. She wanted to bring pediatric cancer patients to the farm, where they could enjoy the horses and peaceful setting. They agreed, and with the help of her closest friends and the "emergency" credit card her parents had given her, Molly created her first Camp Casey. She worked with the local hospital where Casey had been a patient and invited 20 patients, their siblings and their parents.

The event was a huge success — and it was originally meant to be just that: a one-day thing. But, Molly says, "I believe Casey had other plans."

One week after the event, Molly received a letter from a five-year-old boy who had brain cancer. He had been at Camp Casey and said it was "the best day of his life."

"[After that], I knew that we had to pull it off again," Molly says. And they did. Every month for the next few years, they threw a Camp Casey. And when Molly graduated, she did the most terrifying thing she had ever done and told her parents that she would be waitressing for a year to see if it might be possible to turn Camp Casey into an actual nonprofit organization. That year of waitressing turned into six, but in the end she was able to pull it off: by 2010, Camp Casey became a non-profit with a paid staff.

"I am grateful for all the ways I've experienced good luck in my life and, therefore, I believe I have a responsibility to give back. It brings me tremendous joy to see people, animals, or things coming together to create goodness in a world that can often be filled with hardships."

Camp Casey serves 1500 children under the age of 18 each year in Michigan. "The organization looks different than when it started," Molly says. "We now operate four cost-free programs that bring accessible horseback riding and recreational services to children with cancer, sickle cell disease, and other life-threatening illnesses."

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