THE other survivors emerging from flattened Grantham are bedraggled and trembling dogs and cats left behind to face a deadly wall of water as their owners tried frantically to flee from its path.
In one low-set house, where the dirty water line marked the ceiling, animal control officer Darryl Simpson found two dogs sheltering amid thick sludge in a back bedroom.
Nearby, another house wrenched off its stumps came to rest at a 45-degree angle and waiting there on the jutting front porch were two old and tiny black chihuahuas.
"I know animals can survive extreme circumstances but some of these animals that have survived this incident, you just scratch your head and think 'how?'," he said.
Mr Simpson said more than 100 pets had so far been saved as council trucks became "travelling zoos", transporting muddy dogs and cats as well as parrots, rats, siamese fighting fish and chickens.
"You think if a chook can survive, there's still a lot of hope for those people that are missing," he said.
Floodwaters rendered the Lockyer Valley Council's Gatton pound useless so cages at the nearby University of Queensland small animal hospital are now filled with homeless animals.
The equine centre is full of amazing tales of survival, such as an orphaned miniature horse born as the torrent hit, or the standardbred trapped in its racing stable that had to tread water for 30 hours.
Head vet Dr Bob Doneley said most new arrivals "ate ravenously" then curled up to sleep for a day.