Channel 2 Action News’ Ross Cavitt spoke with Marietta firefighter Ron Presley before he left for Texas.

Marietta firefighter in Texas saving pets from Harvey shares stories

Hundreds of miles from his regular post, a Marietta firefighter is in Texas saving pets left imperiled in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.

Ron Presley is working with Kinship Circle, an animal disaster rescue group that recruited him after his efforts in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he told Channel 2 Action News.

Harvey has killed scores of people since making landfall on Texas on Aug. 25 and left countless pets abandoned.

The city of Marietta’s Facebook page has been relaying his words and photos.

“Spent 5 hours on a boat today on a single rescue attempt,” a post detailing the mission begins.

He says he had connected with local firefighters to rescue four dogs and a cat. They traversed the floodwaters that consumed neighborhoods.

“All told, we went nine miles through packs of snakes, floating beehives, and giant spiders crawling all over the boat,” he wrote.

Marietta firefighter Ron Presley shows what the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas looks like. He's there with an animal disaster rescue group.
Photo: City of Marietta Facebook

About 650 feet from the house where the pets were believed to be, they had to turn back. The boat couldn’t get through the tree tops at the surface of the high water.

“It stung to turn back, but by then, it had set in that at 20 feet deep, the animals never had a chance,” Presley wrote.

He shared pictures of some dogs and roosters he helped save but also a lines of cars almost submerged.

This is his 13th mission with Kinship Circle.

Photo: City of Marietta Facebook

With training in swiftwater rescues, Presley has saved animals from floods in Thailand and Mexico, an earthquake in Chile and a tsunami in Japan.

“We get a lot of requests by people who had to leave their animals behind,” he told Channel 2. “They couldn’t wade through the water for whatever reasons and carry their animals or take their animals or had too many.”

Marietta firefighter Ron Presley
Photo: City of Marietta Facebook

Presley said — though he’s been bitten countless times — the dogs, cats, snakes and other animals he’s rescued usually show huge amounts of affection when he finds them.

“You would think it was your own dog as appreciative as they are when you show up,” he said.

Presley may be in Texas to help animals left stray by Harvey, but there’s another storm causing grave concern.

Hurricane Irma is a Category 5 storm swirling in the Atlantic with catastrophic potential. It has already prompted states of emergency and evacuations in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Check here for lives updates on Irma.

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