The Aftermath of Hurricane Harvey
S.A. was an hour away from death when he caught a lucky break.
Last summer, the four-year-old Dalmatian, named after his hometown of San Antonio, Texas, was suffering from a severe infection in both eyes when he was queued for euthanasia to clear up space at his shelter.
But every dog has his day. Luckily for S.A., Natalie Freschour of Hot Mess Pooches, a Texas dog rescue and sanctuary, recovered him in the nick of time. While his eyes were so damaged they had to be removed shortly after rescue, S.A. was lucky enough to find a foster home at the sanctuary during his long recovery.
Unfortunately, S.A’s struggle wasn’t over: in late August, that sanctuary was flooded after Hurricane Harvey pummelled Houston, leaving a city already grappling with an estimated one million homeless dogs unable to deal with the influx of displaced animals. Things looked dire for the disabled Dalmatian, who had virtually no chance of being adopted in Texas. He would need another miracle if he ever wanted to find a forever family.
Enter Redemption Paws, a Toronto-based animal disaster response group run by 32-year-old Nicole Simone, a long-time animal shelter volunteer. Since the storm the organization has completed two missions to Houston, successfully bringing 63 homeless pups, including S.A., into Canada, and giving them another shot at life.
Today the dappled darling spends his time cheerfully snuffling about Toronto with his newfound family. In order to give his name a Canadian twist, they’ve changed the spelling to Esseh. “He sleeps under the covers between my husband and I every night, and gives us non-stop kisses,” says his adoptive mom, Jackie Van Hoorn.
“He’s such a snuggle bug and even makes this cute little sound whenever he feels we’re not giving him enough attention. Some might say he’s needy, but we absolutely love it!”