IKE Update 09/18: Heartbreaking Horse Rescue

The following is an update from IFAW Emergency Rescue team member Michael Booth currently in Texas

Ike Today was a very busy day for IFAW teams working along Texas' devastated coast line. It has been less than a week since Hurricane Ike tore up the area and relief efforts are stronger than ever.

The great majority of cities and counties are still without basic infrastructure, no electricity, no water, not a safe place to be. Nevertheless, we are still here, working around the clock to care for the animals affected by this natural disaster.

The day started out bright and early, the sheltering team stumbled out of their tents and it took a second for them to get their bearings. Having arrived past midnight from their duties at Animal Shelters in Austin, they were now waking up in Anahuac, Texas.

Shortly after, we mobilized to the local Fairgrounds, the designated area for the animal shelter. Working as a fined-tuned machine, the shelter was ready to receive the first animal within a couple of hours after arriving. That first animal, which was a male Labrador, was named Ike, for obvious reasons.

As Ike was going through the process of intake, the local Animal Control contacted IFAW for advice on what to do with a juvenile lion and tiger that had escaped their enclosures in a nearby area, were notably stressed and had taken refuge in a nearby church!

I immediately headed to the local Sheriff's department with a deputy from the Chambers County Animal Control to meet the veterinarian tasked with capturing these big cats. IFAW has incomparable expertise in Big Cats both in the US and in country offices like India, Russia and China. We have moved dozens of lions and tigers in the US, and work with Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) in Texas to provide a better quality of life for these animals.

We are waiting for an update on these tigers as we speak and offered our resources to transport these animals to an appropriate sanctuary like WAO.

Horseinjuries The rest of the afternoon was as busy and exciting as the morning. Sheltering teams were up and running in both Orange (with 6 dogs so far) and Anahuac (12 dogs and 2 cats).  These numbers will surely increase in the coming days. Search and Rescue Teams were deployed to comb the city for stray or abandoned cats and dogs, and a third team was taking care of horses, cattle, goats, and other animals in need of help. Among the fields, a massive amount of debris was scattered around. You can see refrigerators, recliners and TVs spread out between cows and horses which make for a surreal scenery, a sad realization of how strong Ike's surge was at the moment of landfall. A particular rescue was really heartbreaking, we found a very thin horse, clearly suffering after he was pinned down to a barbwire fence by the strong hurricane winds of Ike. His entire left side was badly cut by the wire, the good news is that this horse now has plenty of food, and a safe home to make a full recovery.

All in all a very busy and long day, we are all tired but grateful that we can be here doing what we love. Thanks to your support, IFAW continues to work 24 hours a day in Texas in the aftermath or Hurricane Ike.

Comments: 6

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

IFAW has known about all this for years. I think they're the ones who put WAO up to it.

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

IFAW has been informed about this so called rescue and they know that the animals sent to the WAO will die from lack of care and proper food for the animals that are sent.
Funny how the lions that were on animal planet in Growing up Lions are dead and so are the many other anijmals that were placed there for good life time care and they die with in a few years. This sorry place they call a rescue shoulld be shut down and the people that are their to care for the animals should be put under the jail and they should have to suffer as the animals have while in there care.

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

A lion in church is a fulfillment of Christian prophecy. "The lion shall lie down with the lamb."

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

I don't recall seeing anything negative about the cat holed up in the church with it's owner. In fact, everything seemed quite positive. Using a natural disaster to further a 'cause' seems more blasphemous than a lion in church!

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

Funny, I'm not surprised at all. IFAW is one of those organizations that is bound and determined to destroy ownership rights. Putting animals at WAO is like sending people's relatives to Siberia. It accomplishes the same purpose, hurting the people who own the animals.

 
Anonymous
5 years ago

I am absolutely flabbergasted that IFAW would even consider sending any more animals to the Wild Animal Orphanage at this time. The WAO has been under investigation by the Texas Office of the Attorney General/Charitable Trust and the USDA/AHIS for the last 2.5 years. The USDA/APHIS is currently waiting a trial date to be set for an administrative hearing against the WAO for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. It appears the IRS is also investigating the WAO as the Office will not provide interested parties with the WAO’s 2006 and 2007 tax returns—they are both at this time “unavailable to the public.” Two versions of the 2005 990 was circulated to the public in 2006, but you will only find the latest version on GuideStar.com. The Better Business Bureau/Wisegiving suspended their seal from the WAO due to its investigation into the WAO’s financial activities and the facility is not listed on Charity Navigator. Finally, the WAO’s latest newsletter (July 2008) claimed its facility is experiencing an “unstable financial situation” and without continued donations it cannot “survive” during “its time of crisis.”
It would be a grave injustice if IFAW continued to send animals to this facility until all the investigations are satisfactorily closed. If you want to confirm this information, please contact the OAG/Charitable Trust Division and request documentation pertaining to the WAO under the Open Records Act. Contact the USDA/APHIS Western Division and the IRS to request documentation pertaining to the WAO. And finally review records on the internet with GuideStar.com and Charity Navigator.com to verify whether or not the “sanctuary” is financially healthy.
Eventually, IFAW’s participation with this facility will become known to the public upon completion of the investigations. It is my sincere hope that your institution will not send any more animals to the WAO until all investigations are satisfactorily completed and IFAW can make a complete accountability of the animals that were already sent to the WAO for “life-long care.”

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