Rescuers battle to help horses in Hurricane Harvey aftermath

  • Rescuers have been working to help the horses and other animals affected by the devastating path of Hurricane Harvey.

    The category 4 hurricane has left at least 10 people dead and has been causing severe flooding in Texas since it reached land on Friday.

    US Equestrian (USEF) has been supporting the work of emergency groups and organisations helping horses affected by the floods through the USEF equine disaster relief fund.

    “As part of our commitment to the health, welfare, and safety of horses, the USEF disaster relief fund was created to assist horses impacted by devastating natural disasters such as Hurricane Harvey,” said US Equestrian chief executive Bill Moroney.

    “The outreach and generosity of the equestrian community to support the ongoing emergency assistance in this and future disasters allows us to provide direct financial assistance to the groups involved in the ongoing rescue efforts.”

    US Equestrian is working with the Houston SPCA to support its rescue and rehabilitation work.

    The fund was started in 2005 following hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Since its foundation, more than $370,000 (£285,825) has been donated to help horses caught up in disasters.

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    Meanwhile, the Houston Police Mounted Patrol stables were evacuated and the horses have been safely sheltering with Parsons Mounted Police.

    Videos of a number of horse rescues have also been shared across social media. One remarkable clip of a cowboy freeing a horse trapped in a pen and leading him to safety has been viewed six million times.

    Hurricane Harvey has now been downgraded to a tropical storm, but rain is continuing to fall.

    The Humane Society of the United States is among the organisations helping people and animals directly affected by the weather.

    “We are deploying so many of our assets to respond, in order to help the people and the animals of Texas,” society president Wayne Pacelle wrote in his blog.

    We’re committing to see this crisis through, no matter how long the road to recovery, and we hope you’ll be there for us every step of the way.”

    For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday

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