Mighty Quinn Finds His Way Home After a Fierce Hurricane
Patrick B. and his family have lived through at least a dozen hurricanes, but none were as worrisome as Hurricane Michael, which slammed into the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018.
“We were in Atlanta, and once we realized how bad it was, there was nothing we could do,” explains Patrick, whose family lost their Panama City home of nine years and the majority of their possessions.
One of three dogs they had left at their house with a pet sitter—Quinn, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix—went missing after the hurricane when the sitter was forced to evacuate and leave the dogs behind.
When Patrick and his family returned home, they immediately began looking for Quinn. Their two other dogs, Maggie and Sam, both Labrador mixes, were in their yard, and two additional dogs, Pluto and Ruby, had been safely kenneled before the family left for Atlanta.
“Our neighbors knew that Quinn survived the storm because they saw him the next day,” says Patrick, “We knocked on doors and must have walked more than 30 miles over four days looking for him.” Patrick also enlisted social media, posting on Facebook® that Quinn was lost.
Lost and Found
What Patrick didn’t know was that a local resident, Cory B., had found Quinn wandering through debris left behind by the hurricane while looking for his own missing dog. (Fortunately, Cory found his dog not long after rescuing Quinn.)
Cory took Quinn to the Humane Society of Bay County, where the ASPCA and the Florida State Animal Response Coalition were managing emergency sheltering operations for animals displaced by the storm. After talking with responders, Cory volunteered to foster Quinn until his owners were located.
Days later, after learning about the emergency sheltering operation from a friend, Patrick visited the Humane Society with a photo of Quinn. E.G. Aguilar, a responder with the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response (FIR) Team , recognized Quinn from the photo and arranged for Cory to bring Quinn to the shelter so Patrick and his family could come back and be reunited with their beloved dog.
Patrick and his 13-year-old son, Braden, were thrilled at being reunited.
“Everybody was back where they were supposed to be,” says Patrick, who explains Quinn’s name comes from a Bob Dylan song called “The Mighty Quinn.”
A Temporary Home
According to Patrick, Quinn hasn’t left his side since the reunion, and Patrick takes him on errands whenever possible.
“My wife, Teresa, cried when we got home,” says Patrick, explaining that the family is living in a condominium until they can rebuild their home from the ground up. Because of the building’s size restrictions, the family can’t have their other four dogs in the condo, so they left Maggie and Sam with friends while Pluto and Ruby remain kenneled.
Patrick, who has a fence building business, suffered a heart attack 18 months ago and was unable to work for nine months, straining the family’s finances. Still, he counts his blessings, as many people displaced by the hurricane are worse off, some living in tents.
“I wouldn’t wish this on anybody,” says Patrick, who’s hoping to find the quickest way to get his four-legged family back together.
“We’re doing the best we can, but it’s been rough,” he says. “But getting Quinn back helped tremendously.”