While Florida and the U.S. east coast prepare for Hurricane Irma, folks in Texas (and Louisiana) are cleaning up from Harvey. Two weeks following Harvey’s August 25 landfall, many horses that survived the hurricane still need help, a lot of help, from temporary rehoming to veterinary care.
Hundreds of rescue groups and volunteers have descended on Texas to lend a hand. There are many issues at hand as accounted first hand by Cheryl Flanagan. Cheryl is the onsite contact at one of the facilities receiving farm animals – the Tin Top Arena and Event Center (T2) in Orange, Texas. Cheryl knows a great deal about rescue as the founder of Atlanta based Save the Horses, she’s seen it all. Cheryl drove to Texas last week to help. Her FB posts give us a glimpse of long, emotional days helping horses and their owners.
Some of the horses at T2 simply need temporary housing, some have injuries and need treatment. Dr. Scott Martele from Colorado examines a dwarf horse. Some of his pasture mates drowned in their pasture but he survived on the front porch of the house.
Other horses experience a phenomenon first seen in 2016 after the Louisiana floods – river rot. Horses left standing in deep water for days may suffer severe dermal damage from pollutants and chemicals in the water. Horses present with painful swollen limbs and have difficulty moving, within days their skin begins to sloughing off. Treatment includes antibiotics, pain relief, affected areas must be kept clean, moist and wrapped. The process is gruesome but not deadly in itself, infection and bacteria are the enemy. With around the clock care the tissue will regrow within 4-6 weeks with a good prognosis for recovery.
In Cheryl’s words: This paint gelding stood in waist deep water for 3 days. He came in with one of his pasture mates. Three of his pasture ares drowned his legs were extremely swollen to the point it was hard for him to even walk. We had to watch him with antibacterial soap hoping to get in the parasites that could be in the standing water that was full of infectious germs. We had to give him Betadine bath and then cut off any sloughing of the skin. When we had to add and antibiotic cream in moisturizer to keep it moistwe’ve been wrapping his bandages daily and as we re-treat him more skin comes off. Most of the horses here are tolerant of letting us do this even though it has to be excruciatingly painful. The water damage these animals have from hurricane Harvey is something that really needs to be treated for a few months but I’m afraid so many horses are not going to get the treatment they need.
Long term help is needed – supplies, volunteers to help manage and treat recovering animals, transportation and temporary homes while owners rebuild.
T2 is staffed by 2 vets and volunteers onsight 24/7 to assist with farm animals.
Tin Top Arena and Event Center
3810 Old Peveto Road, Orange Texas
Onsite Contact: Cheryl Flanagan (Save the Horses) please text 404-310-1560.
Follow Cheryl’s posts on FB.
Photography Courtesy: Cheryl Flanagan (Save the Horses) and Tammerly MacDonald
YOU CAN HELP
WARHorses’ has a list of animal rescues in need of donations
You may also contribute to WARHorses Helping gofundme page where we hope to raise $1000
($175 to date)
Meanwhile Back in Houston…
Houston residents were happy to see the return of Houston’s Mounted Patrol which resumed duties on September 4. The unit’s 35 horses were evacuated to Texas A&M University during the hurricane.
Photography Courtesy: Smash, the Houston Mounted Patrol Horse