During natural disasters, many pets are sadly abandoned and left to fend for themselves. For this family, however, that just wasn’t an option.
Drew and his wife from Horses That Help, a great nonprofit group that works with rescued and rehabilitated horses to help out children with special needs, had originally planned on moving their eight horses to a pasture reserve in Tennessee to keep them away from Hurricane Irma — but they decided to stay after weather forecasters predicted South Florida wouldn’t be hit head on.
Unfortunately, it was too late for them to evacuate when that changed, so they did the only thing they could think of to keep their horses safe from the elements — ride out the storm with them inside their Palm Beach home.
"This is the story of how we ended up doing something crazy… riding Hurricane Irma out with 8 horses in our living room! We had a beautiful pasture reserve in TN but on the day we were to evacuate, South Florida breathed a sigh of relief as the weather forecasters had her shifting west of the state. Next day, east of the state. Then, head on. But by now, it was too late to evacuate! Friends were running out of gas and still stuck in the state after 16 hours on the road! We couldn't risk putting the horses through a torturous drive in 92 degree heat and running into problems navigating our huge horse trailer through packed gas stations. We had to stay but made arrangements to bring the horses to a 120 acre ranch in Okeechobee. Then, forecasts changed again and had the eye forecast to go directly over them as a Cat 5! No way could we send them to Okeechobee and have them an hour away and not knowing how they were. What if they needed help? If the dam broke and they would get stuck in high water out in a field! We had no choice but to keep them home and I was crying, terrified not for our safety but terrified for our horses who would be outside with debri hitting them. We don't have a barn… just a paddock with shelters made out of wood and wood fencing and I could picture that wood breaking apart and hurting them and even impaling them. Sick with worry, I begged my husband if we could bring them inside our house that had concrete block walls, Hurricane rated roof, and concrete floors with tile and HE SAID YES!!! He loves them as much as I do! So we moved out the furniture and pictures off the walls and brought in rubber mats, tarps and panels and prayed we wouldn't have to use it. But then the tornado warnings started. And the news guy was telling us to take shelter but what about the horses? We couldn't leave them outside so we hurried and brought Gideon, Pepper, Mo, Alvin, Noah, Icee, Jojo, and Buttercup inside. 6,500 pounds of animals inside a modest living room was CRAZY but these guys are not your typical horses. They work with kids with special needs and at-risk youth who have never touched a horse before. We trust them with the most vulnerable and they KNOW they are special horses. Each one has a story and each one was a gift from God and it's our job to protect them. It took 12 hours of cleaning to get the living room back to normal and although I never want to go through that again, I'm grateful we had the option to keep them safe."#LoveWhatMattersSubmitted by Horses That Help
Posted by Love What Matters on Wednesday, November 15, 2017