Although Hurricane Dorian wasn’t the Category 5 storm that Florida residents were expecting, it did result in high winds and flooding and officials urged people to stay indoors and avoid flooded roads where many cars had been abandoned.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Office was alerted about one suspicious car, which deputies went to investigate. Although the car was somewhat flooded and seemed to be empty, upon closer inspection, deputies saw a tiny puppy inside.
“While working the #Hurricane, deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle, which was unoccupied and partially flooded. Deputy Josh Tolliver checked it out and found this puppy. Deputies named her Dorian. She was wet and scared but otherwise fine,” the sheriff’s office said.
Meet Dorian!— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) September 4, 2019
While working the #Hurricane , deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle, unoccupied & partially flooded from wrecking in a ditch on Apopka Blvd. Deputy Tolliver checked it out and found this pup & named her Dorian. She’ll be turned over to @OCAS_Orlando today. pic.twitter.com/hsP38FhWM2
The dog was taken to Orange County Animal Services by Deputy Josh Tolliver, where volunteers thanked the officers for saving its life and encouraged the deputy to adopt her. The next day, Tolliver returned to the shelter and adopted the small, multicolored pup, now named Dorian.
Tolliver was told he’d have to wait a couple of days before he could take her home since the original owners still had a right to claim the dog, who they left in an abandoned car. A day after posting about the puppy’s rescue, the sheriff’s office wrote, “Here she is, living her best life with Deputy Tolliver!”
Hurricane Dorian, which is moving up the east coast, was upgraded to a Category 3 storm with 115 MPH winds. More than a million people have been evacuated from the Carolinas, while the governor urged those remaining in coastal areas to leave before the storm hits. So far, the storm has claimed the lives of 30 people in the Bahamas and countless animals.
Remember #Dorian the puppy?— Orange County Sheriff's Office (@OrangeCoSheriff) September 5, 2019
While working the #Hurricane Deputy Josh Tolliver rescued her from a partially flooded vehicle in a ditch early Wednesday. He named her after #HurricaneDorian. Here she is, living her best life with Deputy Tolliver. He says she’s sweet as can be! pic.twitter.com/GOTpgUdqw5
Several Florida shelters have reported that many residents are simply abandoning their pets out of fear. Meg Sahdala, the owner of the nonprofit Miami Animal Rescue, told the New Times that the group had rescued 17 dogs that were left chained to trees or bushes or left in parking lots a few days before Dorian was expected to hit. Sahdala says many people abandoned their animals because they were more concerned about their own safety than their pets'. "People are just thinking about themselves," she added.
Animal rights advocates are urging residents to plan ahead before a hurricane hits. In Miami-Dade County, the Pet Adoption and Protection Center, located at 3599 NW 79th Ave. in Doral, is hurricane-proof, according to Animal Services. "We encourage anybody who sees animals out in the streets before and during the storm to give us a call at 311," Animal Services told the New Times. "Our pets are part of our families too. Just like you prepare for children's needs, plan for your pets' needs."