Helped Care for Animals Affected by Hurricane Katrina
When I was fourteen-years-old, I heard that my riding teacher, Lori, needed help after Katrina hit. Lori runs Rescue Ranch, a haven for abused horses in Belle Chase, Louisiana. Even though Lori had lost her house in the storm, she was working twenty-hour days and spending her own money to feed and round up horses and livestock in devastated Plaquemines Parish.
I helped clean the barn, feed and walk horses, and administer therapy for hours to a severely injured horse. I also joined Lori and other large-animal rescuers on an expedition to save a cow that was drowning in mud in an irrigation ditch. I worked alongside the adults, propping the cow's head above water, attaching a bridle and rope to the cow, and pulling in a team effort. Eventually, it took a backhoe to free the animal, who was too weak to stand and had to be carried in the machine's bucket. I also helped calm and load up horses, which had been abandoned in a remote area, for transport back to the ranch. I am still a volunteer with the organization.