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In Houston, Residents Describe Moments Of Grace Amid Hurricane Misery


Among the harrowing images and stories from Hurricane Harvey, there have also been moments of compassion and generosity. Those moments involve people and also animals. When Aaron Jayjack is not at his day job, he's a storm chaser. He drove two hours from his home in Austin to the Texas coast to see Hurricane Harvey, and a low gas tank turned that quest into a rescue mission.

AARON JAYJACK: Looking for a gas station, I found a gas station. And I was slowing down to roll into the gas station, and I saw a dog was following me. I get out of the Jeep to get gas, and the dog that was following me actually jumped into my driver's side seat.

You know, I didn't - (laughter) I didn't have the heart to boot him out. He was cold and shivering and wet and had his tail between his legs, and he definitely just wanted out of the bad conditions. So I loaded up the dog with me and headed back to Austin. And so meanwhile, I'd actually - I had tweeted out a video of me and a dog looking for help from the Twitterverse.


JAYJACK: Hey, guys. I'm on my way back to Austin from Victoria, Texas, and I picked up a little passenger here. So I really need help trying to find this guy's owner. I'll call him Harvey. But I need help trying to find his owner - so if you can share, tweet, whatever you got to do to help.

And within a couple hours, I actually had found the owner. Multiple people had contacted me recognizing the dog, and they knew the owner. I got a hold of the owner and ended up driving two hours back south into the hurricane, met up with the owner and handed off - Cash was his name. I nicknamed him Harvey, but his real name was Cash - and handed off Cash to his owner.


JAYJACK: Hey, man.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: How's it going?

JAYJACK: Not much. How are you?


JAYJACK: This is your guy.


JAYJACK: Looks like he recognizes you (laughter).


JAYJACK: I'm back in Austin, but I have a boat. I saw someone post about a animal shelter with about 70 animals that were stranded. And I - you know, I know there's plenty of people that are helping humans out. 'Cause of the - we're in the cell phone age, they're able to get word out that they need help. But you know, the pets can't do that, right? So I want to focus on the animals that are stranded in Houston and see if I can't get my boat to that animal shelter and start picking them up.


SHAPIRO: That's Aaron Jayjack of Austin, Texas. If you're in the path of Hurricane Harvey and you have a story to tell, tell it to us. The show is on Facebook and Twitter, @npratc.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.