You're probably tired of my fundraising messages by now, and we set the end of this week as the end of our fundraiser for TEVA (which stands for the Texas Equine Veterinary Association), but I think it's critical that we all know WHY this is so important, and why it seems to go on and on.
I've just spoken with Mary Hirsch, who runs www.modelhorseblab.com, the largest model horse forum on the internet. She lives in Texas, just outside the major devastation. She is the person who first suggested TEVA as the beneficiary for fundraising, and here is her update from Texas today:
"Oh Eleda, you are beyond wonderful !!! What you've done for TEVA makes me feel so much better !!! <3 [Eleda's note - It's not us - It's all of you collectors who are making this happen!]
It is the unbelievable amount of rainfall, over 6 days or more, and the continuing flooded conditions in many areas that are making the fallout of this rotten storm over and above maybe anything that has ever happened. Here near the hurricane coast, the usual hurricane or tropical storm big hurt is concluded within days, the water recedes fairly quickly from most places, and then on to the cleanup. But this just goes on and on.
The horses are so especially vulnerable because they can't be scooped into a crate or kennel to live in a protected shelter. They can't be plopped into a canoe or small flat-bottom boat. They are out there in whatever the conditions are at the moment. They are so much harder to pull out of the middle of a flood when there is no visibility below the water surface, as their weight takes them down into holes and soft spots. The cattle are seen as an economic investment and the ranchers have good advance plans for them, some were caught out but they were not nearly as big a problem. The horses, so many are just pets, maybe a family tradition that there are always a few horses on the place. Some haven't seen a trailer in years and know nothing of the world beyond their shed and pasture.
The owners have been criticized for not moving them, but I am so sympathetic to how this happened. People who are still under 6 feet of water thought they were on high ground because they have never flooded before. Even though this area had big flood rains the last 2 years, high water never before came close to them. Much of the water is not from rains but from overflowing reservoirs and broken levees. And when the emergency came they had so little time to get out.
There are owners still searching for horses that were rescued by someone, somehow, but where they ended up is not know. On the other side, horses are scattered far and wide that are still unclaimed. Most of the horses affected need vet help of some kind. TEVA's donation fund is filling the gaps, as owners probably won't be able to pay what would be enormous vet bills. Flood water is very harmful to horses, I did not know this before. They recover but it is awful and they need a lot of pain relief and care. And then the stress of everything causes even more problems."
Florida and the southeast definitely took a hit from Irma, but it was more the traditional pattern and the waters receded fairly quickly. People were putting pastures back together the day after the storm. That is what is lacking in large areas of the Texas gulf coast, acres and acres are still not safe or ready for horses and livestock. This is why these funds we're raising are so important, even a month after the storm. This is unlike any hurricane in recorded US history, with devastation so widespread and long-lasting in an area so heavy with horses. Please, if you can, help us raise our total to $1,000 this week to help TEVA care for injured and abandoned horses. Our fundraising ends Saturday night, but hundreds of horses will need care for many months to come.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you to everyone who has helped! You guys are the best.
~ Eleda and Roy