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Charlotte, NC — September 8, 2005
Special CGSWDC Press Release
Hurricane Katrina Survivor Story
The following is an article by Richard Agee. He found a Hurricane Katrina victim who was rescued with his German Shepherd dog. Fred Dreight received a cash donation from our club.

On 9/13/05 the CGSWDC made an additional donation of $500 to the Red Cross in Charlotte, NC.

Fred Dreight and his 4 month old female German Shepherd Dog.

Hi folks,

I was able to find someone who was in the coliseum here in Charlotte who had a German Shepherd dog with him.

Fred Dreight managed to survive for 6 days after the hurricane to be rescued by helicopter and then flown here. Fred told me he lived in a one story house in New Orleans and the hurricane hit real early in the morning. The storm surge flooded the entire area where he lived. The water was “ankle deep” for a short while and then suddenly came up to his waist and slowly started to get higher. He looked out the window and saw tons of debris floating by and the current was very strong. He was afraid to try to fight it so he stayed in the house.

By now some of the furniture was floating along with the refrigerator. He took a cushion and placed his 4 month female German Shepherd on it. She seemed to understand what he was doing and was very co-operative. The water continued to rise and was at the top of the front door. Fred stood on top of the coffee table to get above the water.

He and his dog were trapped in the house now. The refrigerator blocked the door. For 5 hours he stayed there; the water slowly rising. It got to within 6 inches of the ceiling. Fred had to turn his head side-ways to breath and hold the dog when he could. The rest of the time she swam around. I can only imagine the terror he felt during this time.

Eventually the water started to recede and Fred could get outside. The water was still around 5 feet deep so they had to swim for it. It took them 2 hours to get to dry land. The whole ordeal lasted 7 hours. This 4 month old swam a lot of that time when Fred couldn’t hold her.

He managed to find a friend whose house was not flooded and stayed there for 6 days until rescued by helicopter. He would not leave his dog behind. He had bought the dog for his 79 year old mother who he lives with. They decided she should leave the night before the storm. Fred has not been able to find out if she is OK.

He told me he would like to stay in Charlotte since the people here have been so nice to him but he needs work. He has a number of skills including carpentry, welding, barber and cook. He would really like to get a job as a cook.

He has lost everything he has and will have to start over so our help is very important to him. I’m sure Fred will do well because of his outlook on this. I am so glad that we are able to help him and his dog. He surely saved the dog’s life.

Richard Agee
President of the Carolina German Shepherd Working Dog Club

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