Frank, The Search-And-Rescue Bulldog, Another Victim Of Hurricane Harvey

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.


Courtesy, Help Find Bulldog Frank


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.”

Courtesy, Help Find Bulldog Frank

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.

Courtesy, Help Find Bulldog Frank

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.

Semper Fi.”

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.

Lisa Blanck

Writing articles about animals for more than 22 years, she dove into the rescue world with the onset of Hurricane Katrina. As an outspoken advocate for animals, she's covered everything from paws to hooves, fins to feathers. She was the Orlando Animal Rescue and Worldwide Animal Issues Examiner for seven years. She's always thinking pawsitive, looking for ways to improve the lives of animals. She lives with one dog, one cat and one patient human. She welcomes your suggestions and is thrilled to be part of the family!


  1. Lia says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Many of us share your pain. May you take comfort in your memories & the fact you were blessed to have shared your life with with such a great dog. Peace

  2. JILL A. CAMPOY says:

    RIP Frank. Thank you.

  3. Lizzie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Frank was a hero. He will always be with you in spirit.

  4. Sharon Vickery says:

    R.I.P. Frank Semper Fi I know your family will miss you terribly. I am so very sorry for your tragic loss.

  5. Marchelle Marsh says:


  6. glenda elliott says:

    God love your special heart. You are a hero of the highest. May God wrap His arms around you and your family 😔❤️🐾

  7. Jeanne Greenwald says:

    I’m so heartbroken over the loss of your beloved Frank…RIP sweet boy 😓

  8. Susan says:

    Iam so very sorry for your loss RIP Frank my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family .

  9. Erika says:

    Frank, because of you, we all found a community of people who have love for you, each other and nothing but kindness and understanding respect for each other and your family. I know that you are in the mansion God built for your family and you’re keeping watch over us all. Eventually we’ll be there with you and I can see all of us living together in fields of beautiful flowers, trees, and grass. We will have forever to visit, work, laugh and play with our families and pets by our sides. We’re going to explore beaches, rivers, lakes and mountains together. You brought thousands of people together and you helped us focus on what Jesus said to do, help and love one another as He loved us. You’re our cement and our glue. Our hero and we love you today, tomorrow and forever sweet guy!

  10. Ann Wells says:

    To Frank’s people, I’m so sorry for your loss. May God comfort you in ways no words can. RIP Frank.

  11. Melinda Magee says:

    Oh Frank from the minute I saw your big beautiful face I feel in love with you! To know you were brave enough to go with your master David to search for victims made my heart proud!
    You will remain a strong little hero always and make sure when your ready, come to David and let him know doggy heaven is a wonderful place and you will be waiting for him! Much love and respect little buddy!

  12. Anita Rogers says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. R.I.P. FRANK — SEMPER FI!!

  13. Laura says:

    Frank you have an army of followers who adored you even if many of us didn’t personally know you. I don’t know how many times saying this.. we loved you to the moon and back and you will be deeply missed by so many.

    Rest In Peace.. Sweet Frank. Your now with so many fur babies before you including my own dogs as well. You’ll never be forgotten and will always remain in each of our hearts. Love U! Hugs xx

    God spelled backward = Dog

  14. Laura says:

    All of Frank’s followers were siting on the edge of their seat, it felt like weeks instead of days just waiting for the magic word “rescued”. Hoping and praying to god there would be a miracle in the making for little dog Frank surviving the horrific flood water. We all asked god for his mercy that he would be found alive and hoped it was sooner then later. When we heard the news that he was found but no longer with us we all broke down and cried our eyes out, asking why did it have to happen that way. it seemed so unfair losing him that way. We still don’t understand it completely even today, we only hope Frank didn’t suffer and there will be a light at the end of the tunnel after all. All of his followers are still here on Finding Frank the Bulldog comforting one another and his dad David. Please keep David and his family in your thoughts and prayers and all of Frank’s followers, we still need it so very much. Thank you

    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      i first heard about Frank when he went missing, and shared the post all over, with rescue friends i knew in the area. I’m heartbroken that the search turned out this way.

      1. Laura says:

        Ditto, I feel exactly the same way and shared to all animal lovers out there too.

  15. Nathalie says:

    So sorry for the loss of such a great bullie. Frank, please keep my bulliegirl, Bella, company. I think you’ll really like her.

  16. Cindy says:

    REST IN PEACE FRANK. To Frank’s owner: I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you prayers.

  17. Dana says:

    God Bless Frank and all those helping. God sees all.

  18. Summer says:

    I’m sorry for your lost, I don’t know what I would do without my Ezra. Sending healing light and love to your family

  19. Stacy petty says:

    God uses these amazing creatures in amazing ways. A sacrifice was made so that Gods children could come together and unite in faith, hope, and love. Something this nation needs to see right now…
    Thank you Frank. I look forward to meeting you some day on the other side.

  20. Susan Pritchard says:

    So sorry about the loss of Frank. He was a hero saving lives in Texas.

  21. Kathleen Drude DVM says:

    Dear Frank thank you for a job well done! You are now free to look and run and play with new friends! Plenty of food cool clean water to drink! You are an angel who came into this world for awhile! You and your dad saved so many and you never showed fear or fatigue! Rest now Frank! There will come a day when you hear your name called by a much loved voice! You turn and see your dad you run and jump into his arms! The two of you turn and walk away never to be parted again! Good bye sweet boy thank you!

  22. Christy fajerson says:

    So very sorry for your loss. Frank is a hero for sure! ♡

  23. Brenda Robinson says:

    RIP sweet hero. You are truly missed by many who never met you. Thank you for your service to the hurricane victims. You died a hero lil man and I know you received the welcome home you deserved at the bridge.

  24. Sharon Attaway Nettleton says:

    Offering my condolences for the loss of your beloved Frank. Praying for peace within your home and heart this night, God bless. Soar with the angels Frank, you’re one of them now. We love you and thank you 4 all you did to save the victims of Harvey.💝



  26. Donna says:

    So so sorry for your Loss!! RIP Frank! You are a true hero! ❤🐾❤ these fur babies are our family members and when we lose them it hurts as such!

  27. Kia Fisher says:

    RIP Frank 💙 My thoughts and prayers are with your human family… may you rest easy seeet pup 🙏🏼

  28. Melissa says:

    Oh no I’m so sorry ! I have been following this story of this hero dog . I really thought he would turn up in a shelter . Our thoughts & prayers to his family

  29. Carey says:

    This totally broke my heart and had me in tears. It also totally enraged me.

    I am NOT of fan of dogs on boats for this very reason. But at least most responsible dog owners would have had a life vest on him and had him secured in their lap. What a horrible way to die. Bulldogs cannot swim. He had to be scared and terrified before he sank. UGH!

  30. Dawn says:

    😪 Rest peacefully brave, handsome boy 💔

  31. Tami Skidmore says:

    Beautiful😢 RIP Frank #FranksArmy #FrankStrong #FrankNation 😍 😇🌈

  32. mongibello says:

    RIP Frank. You are a Hero indeed. God bless.

  33. Karen Langlois says:

    I cried reading the story of poor brave Frank.. It’s hard to loose a BELOVED dog & Frank was such a special dog…my condolences to David & friends who also loved & worked with him…
    Maybe my Beloved Chase & Frank are together across the Rainbow bridge…

  34. Lisa says:

    So sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you losing your beloved pup. Frank would want you to jump back in and maybe rescue a pup who lost his family during the storm. But I know how hard it is to tahe tear step. God bless your wounded soul.

  35. Elaine Whinston says:

    So sorry about the loss of your beloved doggie friend. Please accept my condolences.

  36. Peri says:

    Oh, this breaks my heart. Good -by dear were a hero <3

  37. Dakota Blue Eye says:

    *Wipes Tears with Paw*
    Wuv yew Fwankkkkkk…..
    Catcha atz Da Wainbow Bwidge sum daze! #SemperFi Fwankkkkkl!
    *Slow Salute wth Paw*
    Tankz fow yewz sewvice Miztew Timmmm. *Salutes with Paw*
    And Daviddddddd… PWAYEWZ and tankz fow wuvvin Fwankkkkkk.

  38. Lajeanne Leveton says:

    a sad ending for those who were just trying to help… one’s fault, but still tragic….RIP FRANK!

  39. Karen Roberts says:

    Beautifully said. Thank you.

  40. JERRY EDELMAN says:


    1. Lisa Blanck says:

      I agree, Jerry, I agree.

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