Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society

Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society Seeks Assistance for Animal Victims of Hurricane Rita

12 October 2005 Filed: Press Releases

Although thoughts of Hurricane Rita have begun to fade for many across the country, the storm and its devastation are still vivid for many east Texas horse owners. East Texas and western Louisiana are home to thousands of horses - expensive hunters and jumpers, highly tuned race horses, hard-working ranch horses, and beloved pleasure horses and pets. When Hurricane Rita threatened Houston, many horse owners thought that they would be safe “sheltering in place” on their farm and ranches. They expected strong winds and flooding, but they believed that Houston and Galveston would bear the brunt of the storm.

Unfortunately, Rita took a last minute turn to the east before making land-fall. By the time it was clear that Houston and Galveston would be spared, it was too late for many horse owners in east Texas and western Louisiana to evacuate. Instead, they filled water buckets, marked their horses, and secured anything that might become a projectile in hurricane force winds. And they waited.

The storm struck early Saturday morning, and many areas experienced winds well over 100 mph. Pastures were flooded, barns were blown down, and homes were destroyed. Horses and other livestock lost their lives.

And that horror was just the beginning for east Texans. Many farmers lost their barns. When their barns were destroyed, they lost grain and supplies. They also lost their year’s supply of hay. The first and second cuttings were destroyed in the barn and their third cutting was destroyed in the field by flooding and brackish water blown in by the storm. For many, the loss of hay represents a loss of their livelihood - not only have they lost the hay they feed their own animals, they lost hay they sell. That’s a huge financial blow.

Now many of these farmers can’t afford to feed their animals or repair their farms. They’re waiting for insurance money - but they may have to wait for months. They’ve called groups across the country looking for assistance, but so far they tell us that they’ve received little, if any, help.

So what can you do? Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) is setting up a supply drive. We’re seeking donations of hay, grain, and other supplies to take to distribution points in East Texas. Affected farmers and ranchers can pick up supplies. By doing this, we hope to extend a helping hand so that these horse owners can regroup and get back on their feet.

We need:

  • Hay
  • Grain
  • De-worming products
  • Medications/vaccinations
  • Halters, leads, buckets and other supplies
  • Volunteers to work at distribution centers
  • Volunteers to help transport items to the distribution centers

If you can help or can make a contribution to these efforts, please contact us at (888) 542-5163 or email us at info@bluebonnetequine.org.