Man Dies Trying To Save His Dogs From West Virginia Floods

Man Dies Trying To Save His Dogs From West Virginia Floods

Twenty-three people have died in the West Virginia floods. One of those people is Bill Sanders, who lost his life trying to save his dogs.

TV station WSAZ reports that Sanders was carried off by floodwaters, while untethering his three dogs from his yard. A niece, April Vance, said he could have saved himself by getting to higher ground, but he didn’t want to leave his pets.

“He’d do anything for anybody,” Vance told the station. Later, one of the dogs found Sanders’ body, which had been washed upstream.

“Thirty-seven years right here with that man. This was my life. Everything is gone. But I feel him here [in my heart],” Sanders’ wife Diana said to a Fox affiliate.

With more than 1,200 homes wrecked by the flooding, the area’s pets—as well as its people—are in great need of help.

The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association has been helping to take care of these animals. Shelter staff and volunteers are delivering pet food door to door in the affected areas, and taking in animals who’ve lost their homes—some temporarily, others for good.

You can pitch in, too, even from far away.

The shelter has a wish list—dog food is especially needed.

They are also asking for cash donations. Tito’s Vodka will match any donation up to $2,500; just type “Tito’s Match” in the notes section on your donation form.

And the absolute best way to help right now is by opening your own door.

The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association was already to the brim before the storm, and is now completely deluged with animals.

The shelter does not euthanize for space, so these animals are not in danger of losing their lives, spokesperson Jessie Shafer tells us. But the KCHA is full, and will get fuller in the coming days and weeks, while animals displaced by the floods find refuge there.

Out-of-state adopters, fosters, and rescues are all welcome. Coming into the shelter in person would be preferred, but there are volunteers ready to bring animals to their new homes. Email [email protected] if you can help.

All adoptions are free.

“Right now, our number one goal is to get our residents out,” said Shafer.


And a bittersweet coda: Shafer tells us she saw two of Bill Sanders’ dogs earlier this week. She was going door to door giving out pet food, and collecting dogs and cats who needed rescuing.

She saw the two dogs running loose, and tried to get them, to take them to safety. They were skittish and couldn’t be caught.

Someone nearby told her who they belonged to. That person said the third dog, the one Sanders was trying to free when he died, didn’t make it.

But these two were being cared for by relatives. They were going to be ok.

H/T and featured image via WSAZ