NAPLES, Fla. – A man who rushed into the storm surge of Hurricane Ian to rescue a cat stranded outside just donated nearly $15,000 to the Naples Humane Society.
Mike Ross, 29, of Naples, rode out the storm at his parents’ home in Bonita Beach. Then his mother looked out the window and saw a small cat sitting on the air conditioner in the neighbor’s house.
“All I knew was she was scared and shaking,” Ross told NBC2 last week.
PRIOR COVERAGE: Naples man rescues cat stranded in Hurricane Ian storm surge
On Wednesday, Ross and his girlfriend, Megan Scavo, presented a check for $14,570 to the Naples Humane Society from an online fundraiser they created after their story went viral.
His mother is the one who recorded his selfless act. Ross was seen wading through the oncoming storm to reach the cat and lead it to safety.
My boyfriend rescues a cat from flood waters near Bonita Beach. #HurricaneIan #Naples #Bonita #FortMyers pic.twitter.com/BlBC9P1rdy
— Megan Cruz Scavo (@MeganScavo) September 28, 2022
Gage: “Some people might say ‘Mike, you’re crazy to go out in this weather to save this cat. How about that?”
Mike: “I think it would be harder to watch an animal sitting on top of an air conditioning unit knowing it’s going to die than to go there and save it.”
Ross’ girlfriend, Megan Scavo, posted the video online where it went viral.
The couple created a GoFundMe to raise money as a result. They have since adopted a cat, now named “Storm” and wanted to raise money to help other animals affected by Ian.
In total, they raised more than $30,000. Half of which was donated to the Naples Humane Society and the other half will be split between another charity and to help rebuild their home in Naples, which was under eight feet of water.
Ross said that everyone can learn a lesson here: you can always help those in need.
“I think the big takeaway is that when you have an opportunity to do something good, help someone, help a cat, like I did for Storm, you should take that opportunity.