While people were displaced in the wake of the floods that hit Nebraska and Iowa, many pets were left behind in a hurry to get out.
6 On Your Side was at the scene of one heartbreaking animal rescue from bone-chilling floodwater as volunteers risked their lives to save dozens of scared, wet, cold dogs. Volunteers from several rescue groups showed up to get them to safety in Mills County, Iowa.
"She ran free, she jumped off the island and she went in the water all the way," one rescuer could be heard saying during the rescue.
In all, 32 dogs were floated to safety. "This is incredibly sad," Genea Stoops with Hooves and Paws rescue told 6 News.
Stoops said Hooves and Paws Rescue were originally called out to remove a horse from a flooded farmstead, only to discover the stranded dogs fighting to survive. "They only have a little area where they can get up out of the water and they were fighting with each other."
The property owner evacuated and then surrendered the dogs to animal rescuers who had to make numerous trips in and out to get them all. The rescuers had to cross about 300 yards of almost chest-deep, ice cold floodwater Stoops said. "And the water is hard to walk through because your feet get stuck in the mud."
The volunteers had a heated van ready for the cold dogs. "They're almost frozen to death. Literally. And these have open wounds that are bleeding," one rescuer said.
Experts said many of the dogs only had hours of life left before they were taken to the warmth.
"You get closer to the house and in the water, you can see fuel on top of the water and the dogs are drinking it," Amy Heinz with AHeinz57 Pet Rescue said.
The dogs were given a second chance by the volunteers who refused to let cold water stand in the way of animal rescue. Hooves and Paws had received 200 calls for help for animals affected by the flood as of Tuesday. Their rescue is full, so others had to be called in.
The dogs can be checked on at Hooves and Paws Rescue of the Heartland, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport or Muddy Paws.