Tony Alsup is a fifty one year old truck driver from Greenback, Tennessee. Ironically, he is also an animal lover who would do anything to help the living creatures he loves so much. While he is a truck driver, he also owns an old school bus and uses it every chance he gets to help animals. When Hurricane Florence threatened to hit South Carolina, he stepped in to help. His school bus has been converted for just this purpose; he removed all the seats to make room for kennels and even painted the words “EMERGENCY ANIMAL RESCUE SHELTER” on the side. He jokes it could’ve also said “Noah’s Ark.”
Tony knew there would be displaced animals, so he headed straight for South Carolina animal shelters to pick up 11 cats and 53 dogs and transport them to safety in other shelters throughout the country. Tony dreams of owning his own animal shelter someday, but in the meantime he’s happy to do whatever he can to transport dogs in his school bus. He did the same thing last year when Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. But in South Carolina, he kept taking busloads of dogs and then posted on Facebook asking if his followers knew of more animals in need—and he got quite a response.
There were four shelters in South Carolina who said they needed someone to pick up their “leftover” pets. Those are the animals no one else wanted, the ones who looked a little bit different or were heartworm positive. Tony took each of them early one morning at 4:00 AM and took them to safety. He drove the animals to a private shelter in Alabama where they got baths and warm beds and then he took the rest to another shelter in Tennessee. Though there is widespread flooding and closed roads, Tony is still doing everything he can to rescue and help more animals if possible.