Gemma survived Hurricane Harvey despite being chained up in a heavily flooded town west of Houston, Texas. She had just enough room to get to the top step of a nearby trailer home. Two of her puppies sat on that step with her; the others didn’t make it.
After being rescued last week, Gemma went to a foster home and “slept for a solid two days,” Katie Wing, cofounder of Houston K-911 Rescue, said. “She seems to realize she’s safe.” Discovering Gemma alive, with her remaining puppies, was a tremendous relief.
Volunteers with Houston K-911 Rescue have spent months helping the dogs who live in that area — finding homes for strays, distributing supplies and otherwise helping out so that the dogs who have owners also have basic comforts.
Volunteers with the group worried about these dogs all through the storm and rushed over as soon as conditions were safe.
They got to Gemma on Thursday — she was one of seven dogs and a cat Houston K-911 Rescue got from this one place right after Harvey.
Gemma’s former owner had left without even removing her chain; Wing and her fellow rescuers learned from people in the neighborhood.
They’d left behind a potted plant too; which also survived on that same step through the storm. It broke Wing’s heart to notice the plant seemed as if it had been better cared for than Gemma and her pups.
Gemma growled and barked as the rescuers approached her. Once they removed her chain; she was like a new dog — smiling and wagging her tail.
“Her demeanor changed completely,” Wing said. “It really was hell on Earth for this dog.”
Gemma and her puppies are suffering from a wide range of health problems.
They have raw, itchy and infected skin.
Read more on the next page: