When dog trainer and volunteer Sharon Messersmith and others saw the first image of a stranded dog in Hurricane Harvey's flood waters, it brought on a range of emotions.
"I worried about the dog," Messersmith said. "That negative association, I worried about what it was gonna do to their future."
On Thursday, about 40 dogs arrived in Berks County from the Hemlock Edge Rescue in Montgomery County, where they had been housed since arriving from the Houston area.
As the anticipation built, with a handful of volunteers waiting for the troubled pets arrival, volunteer Lisa Santangelo said she was anxious to help.
"I'm excited to get them here, get them the help they need," she said.
As dusk faded into darkness, the dogs finally arrived. The look on their faces was that of trauma from the ordeal and weariness from the long drive.
Now, they'll be evaluated physically for any health issues and hopefully placed in good homes in Berks and surrounding counties.
"So, we're looking for dogs that, number one, will match the homes we're going into, and number two, dogs that we know we can find homes for," Messersmith said.
Several animal rescue groups worked together to help get the dogs to Berks County, including Jax's Labrador Retriever Rescue, All 4 Paws and Pets Plus Natural Adoption Center.