When Hurricane Harvey struck, Frank the English Bulldog and his human, David Scherff, heard the cry for additional help needed with search and rescue. They hit the ground running in Katy, Texas, lending four paws, two hands, two legs and, most of all, a pair of loving hearts, to the rescue effort.
Man and dog mobilized with a civilian rescue group. Frank quickly became the team mascot, providing comfort to the youngest victims, his gentle presence helping to calm their anxiety.
On Sunday, August 27, while searching in the flooded darkness for possible storm victims, the rescue craft hit rough waters. And then, Frank was tossed overboard.
David and another rescue volunteer, Marine Tim Donovan, immediately jumped overboard to catch Frank, who was still wearing his harness, but the dog quickly got swept far downstream towards a bridge near the I-10. David and Donovan, a trained Marine, had difficulty getting back to their craft.
Since that moment more than a week ago, David and others searched for his beloved bulldog, both physically and through social media, with the assistance of Animal Army‘s Karen Bishop. Everyone was hoping someone pulled his beloved dog to safety, or that Frank would be found safe with one of the wonderful rescue groups in the devastated area.
“I am searching for Frank during daylight and rescuing victims at night.”
David returned to the bridge time after time, hoping to find Frank. More than 2600 members of Help Find Bulldog Frank kept their eyes glued to his page, praying for word that he was safe and back with his dad.
On Monday, September 4, David released this update to Frank’s many followers.
“I’m sorry to inform everyone that frank did not make it. He is coming home with the American flag.”
The white English Bulldog with the brown spot by his tail and belly tattoo, who found fans and supporters from Bismark, ND to Cherry Hill, NJ, and every state in-between, was now another casualty of Hurricane Harvey.
David left this heart-wrenching tribute for Frank’s followers: “Frank is finally home and at rest although it breaks my heart to not have him by my side I know he’s always watching over me. The tremendous amount of love and prayers is truly overwhelming, words can never express how truly grateful I am for all of you guys that gave me support and prayed for Frank.”
Tim Donovan, Frank’s Marine buddy, provided this epitaph for one who gave his all:
“My wife, sons, and I just returned from helping bury Frank. I’ve buried way too many friends in my life and this is just as hard (if not harder). As hard as it is to admit, and maybe one day I will, I did what I could for Frank in those last moments.
But what is heroic is the community that has rallied around Frank … Frank was a member of our rescue team, he brought warmth to the scared in a way none of us could, he brought this group together.
Frank brought the best of us out of each other during a time of sadness and loss. He is a hero, and as an English Bull he lived the ethos of a Marine. I am proud that I served next to the little guy, I am forever sorry for not doing more, but Frank….. you will never leave my mind.
There are many rescue groups on the ground throughout TX and LA. You can click here for further information, if you’d like to help.
We hope you’re happily wriggling your tail on the other side of that Rainbow Bridge, Frank, and will greet David with snuggles and a smile whenever he arrives. May we all be fortunate to one day salute you for your bravery and shake your paw in thanks.
Semper Fidelis indeed.