It was 3 a.m., September 12th, 2005, nearly two weeks after Katrina had devastated New Orleans, and our animal rescue vehicle was flagged over by a New Orleans police officer. I thought he might ask for our credentials or force us to turn back to the emergency animal shelter, but instead he begged us to go into the darkest, most devastated area in the city in search of his dogs. While he was sworn to protect the public during this time of crisis, we were the only people who could help reunite his family.

We waded through the flood waters for over an hour, led by a solid beam of light from my SureFire flashlight, which cut through absolute darkness. As I neared the address the officer had given us, the toxic floodwater rose to my chest. When our team finally found his house, our hearts sank—it was clear that water had nearly submerged the entire two-story structure at one point. As we broke down the door, we braced ourselves for a grim scene. Sadly, we found the remains of two dogs floating inside the home. I began searching frantically for a third body when, to my surprise, I shined my light on the eyes of a large German Shepherd mix balancing precariously on the two-inch ledge of a sealed window. He had obviously been perched there above the water for some time. A wash of pure joy spread over his face when this canine survivor saw our team and the salvation we represented. Reuniting this dog with his human guardian was a proud moment that will remain with me for the rest of my life.

Unfortunately, I lost my SureFire flashlight the very next day as I watched it sink into the floodwater while rescuing a mamma pit-bull and her pups from a rooftop. During my 23-year-long career in animal protection, I have led the rescue of tens of thousands of animals. And a SureFire flashlight has been the guiding light on the vast majority of those rescues.

Scott H. – President of Animal Rescue Corps
Takoma Park, MD