Tony Alsup is no stranger to long hours on the road. The 51-year-old from Greenback, Tennessee makes his living as a truck driver. And when disaster strikes, he trades in his truck for a modified yellow school bus and hits the road once more.
Bearing the name of his passion project, “EARS – Emergency Animal Rescue & Shelter,” Alsup’s school bus serves as a modern-day Noah’s Ark. Inside, the seats have been ripped out to make room for four-legged passengers.
On the Hurricane Florence path, he’d already rescued over 60 animals from South Carolina shelters and planned to search for more.
Alsup has been plucking shelter pets from harm’s way with his school bus since Hurricane Harvey last year. Sometimes he brings supplies in, but he always brings animals out.
“I’m like, look, these are lives too,” Alsup said. “Animals— especially shelter pets— they always have to take the back seat of the bus. But I’ll give them their own bus. If I have to I’ll pay for all the fuel, or even a boat, to get these dogs out of there.”