It's a happy ending for Miracle, the dog who spent weeks trapped under an air conditioner in Marsh Harbour after Hurricane Dorian devastated the Bahamas.
After recovering for weeks at Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Florida, the pup finally met his forever family. Miracle was located by a drone equipped with infrared heat-seeking technology, rescued by a search and rescue team and flown to the organization's headquarters, where he was treated for a shrunken stomach, parasites, abrasions and infections. He's since learned to walk again and has gained twice his body weight.
"Seeing this poor little darling dog just trapped underneath there and thinking about how hard he fought to stay alive," said the organization's founder, Lauree Simmons to TODAY following his rescue. "We had Miracle in our arms within two hours of him being rescued."
Big Dog Ranch Rescue was flooded with over 10,000 adoption requests for Miracle since his story made headlines, but it will be Clark and Brianna Beaty and their three young daughters who get to take the pup home.
"Little did we know....he would be a global symbol of courage, hope and love that he is today," Simmons said on Tuesday while introducing Miracle's new family to the press. "He fought so hard to live." The organization helped save around 150 animals from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian.
Miracle's rescue story also joins that of Chella Phillips, who sheltered 97 dogs in her Nassau home as the storm waged on.
It was "either leave the dogs on the street to fend for themselves...or do something about it," Chella said to ABC News about her decision to save the dogs. “I just want these dogs to be safe. I could care less about the dog poop and pee in my house.”
The Humane Society of Grand Bahama shared to Facebook in September that 74 dogs and 77 cats survived the storm due to the support and bravery of its staff members, many of whom lost their homes. "They are managing the best they can in light of all the tragedy and destruction," the organization wrote. "Please pray for the animals and for the staff as 5 of the shelter workers lost their homes. There are a lot of wheels in motion to get supplies to the shelter as well as plans to move dogs out. The outpouring of support is moving beyond words."
Other animal rescue groups in the states worked tirelessly to evacuate animals from shelters who were in the path of the storm. 191 cats and dogs were airlifted from South Carolina to Delaware, while the Humane Society airlifted animals from many of their Florida shelters. Other shelters in South Carolina transported their animals to shelters across the Northeast, Michigan and Chicago for safety.
Dorian was the first major hurricane of the 2019 hurricane season and rapidly intensified to become a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour. The slow-moving storm devastated Grand Bahamas Island and the Abacos Island, bringing catastrophic winds and storm-surge flooding for nearly two days, before finally crawling forward. The storm just barely spared Florida from impact but made landfall at Cape Hatteras, North Carolina on Sept. 6. It then continued northward to Canada.
According to reports, Hurricane Dorian was the slowest moving major hurricane on record, having moved at just 1 to 2 miles per hour over the course of a day.