The aftermath of a hurricane often leaves survivors in terrible situations. This poor pooch, for example, was trapped in a septic hole and in desperate need of help. Thankfully, though, his cries would not go unanswered.
Hurricane Matthew was the most lethal Atlantic storm since 2005, tragically claiming the lives of hundreds of people. The destructive storm began its journey from Africa on September 22, 2016, when it started as a tropical depression. From there, it grew to become a devastating force.
In fact, by the time it had reached the Caribbean Sea on September 28, the tropical depression had turned into a storm. At which point, it became known as Matthew. Then, just a day later, Matthew turned into a full-blown hurricane.
The hurricane subsequently swept across the Western Atlantic. Along the way it tore over Haiti, the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and parts of the southeastern United States and Canada. Its effects were catastrophic and deadly, especially in poverty-ridden Haiti.
In Haiti, no accurate death toll is available, but the estimated range falls between 300 and over 1,000 fatalities. Whatever the correct number is, though, Matthew undoubtedly claimed a massive number of victims. In the United States, meanwhile, 46 fatalities have been reported.
The storm hit North Carolina particularly hard. In fact, the state suffered an estimated $1.5 billion dollars in structural damage, according to reports. In addition, at least five million farm animals there died in the hurricane.
But even in the midst of such tragedy, there was hope. For instance, people sent aid to places that needed assistance, and rescue groups worked overtime. One such organization that put in a tremendous effort was the Bahamas Humane Society (BHS).
But on October 12, 2016, about a week after Matthew ripped its way over the Bahamas, one survivor still needed rescuing. Fortunately, a local woman heard his cries and called the non-profit Bahamas Humane Society, based in Nassau. The organization promptly sent a search and rescue team.
What they found, though, managed to astound even the rescuers. Yes, a terrified dog looked up at them from an open sewer hole filled with fetid water. He was soaked and bedraggled but alive, so the team jumped into action.
Within minutes, Ventoi Bethune, a BHS ambulance driver, had the waterlogged dog free of its hole. A closer inspection showed that the dog had clearly suffered during his time in the sewer. In fact, it seemed that the stray may have been struggling for a long time even before the hurricane.
Aptly named Matthew, this severely malnourished pooch had small cuts and scratches all over his body. But that’s not all. No, Matthew’s legs were so swollen that he was just barely managing to stay standing.
Even worse, BHS spokesperson Lissa McCombe speculated that Matthew wasn’t there by accident. That’s because abandoned dogs are a big problem in the Bahamas. Indeed, McCombe wouldn’t have been surprised if someone had ditched the dog intentionally.
Of course, it’s impossible to know for sure how long Matthew was trapped in the fetid waters. But chances are good that he had weathered the whole storm from there. In fact, the very fact that he had survived the storm shocked his rescuers.
“We found him right after the storm. It was amazing he survived the flooding,” McCombe said. And yet, even after such a traumatic experience, Matthew showed nothing but affection for his rescuers. “As we brought him into our shelter, he started to wag his tail,” McCombe told The Dodo.
Once in the safe hands of the BHS, then, Matthew began to recuperate. Of course, first he needed to take a bath! Yes, having been trapped in stinking sewage for so long, the drenched dog was in desperate need of a good scrub.
As BHS staff cleaned and groomed him, though, Matthew proved to be a patient pooch. He even sat still for an ear cleaning, something that makes most dogs very uncomfortable. And though it hasn’t been long, the staff at BHS are already seeing rapid improvements in Matthew’s health.
Since his rescue, for instance, the swelling in Matthews legs has reduced. But it may be some time before he is running on his own four paws again. For now, then, he is taking it easy and still only eating his meals lying down.
Thankfully, the recovering ruffer’s appetite is only growing. Yes, the skinny dog is making up for lost time and relishing his meals. And with the help BHS receives from food donations, it looks like Matthew won’t go hungry again.
Ultimately, the hope is that Matthew will find a loving fur-ever home. But the BHS is going to keep the plucker under observation until he is up ready for adoption. Understandably, Matthew still has some healing yet to do.
Indeed, much of the Atlantic region is still reeling from the punch of Hurricane Matthew. Under such circumstances, it is good news to hear the story of the dog named Matthew. And thanks to the Bahamas Humane Society, this rescued pooch can now look forward to his happily ever after.