A woman living just outside Myrtle Beach with her seven rescue dogs was expecting to ride out the effects of Hurricane Florence at her home, until strangers raised thousands of dollars to drive her and her pups out of danger’s way.
On Wednesday, Christine Meinhold told CNN she didn’t have the resources to evacuate herself and her dogs.
“When I rescued these dogs, I took on a responsibility of loving and caring for them the rest of their lives,” she told CNN. “I can’t abandon them.”
When animal lover Elaine Sloan from New York City heard the report, she told USA TODAY she reached out to her friend Trudy Schilder, as both have been involving in assisting animal rescues in the past. She said they were able to directly connect with Meinhold.
“Somehow we gathered others and this miracle unfolded,” Schilder said.
A California-based radio host and dog lover Kate Zenna also became involved, pleading with followers on social media to help.
“This is a nightmare waiting to happen,” Zenna tweeted on Wednesday. Adding in another tweet: “Let’s get these dogs to a safe place before Florence arrives.”
By Thursday, Florence was 155 miles east of Myrtle Beach, poising to bring extreme rain and wind before landfall.
Before disaster struck, the crowdsourcing campaign raised more than $5,000 to transport Meinhold and her pups, appearing to be breeds spanning German Shepard to labrador. The funds supported a journey in an U-Haul and then an air conditioned carrier van to Tennessee, where Meinhold’s cousin lives. Friday, those involved with the rescue reported Meinhold and her dogs arrived at their destination safely.
Two of Meinhold’s dogs she rescued from Hurricane Matthew in 2016, she told CNN.
“It’s a lovely, happy ending,” Sloan said.
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