Equine Rescue of Aiken delivers feed to starving Texas livestock; assisting pilots to drop food to inaccessible farms

Picture courtesy: Jim Rhodes. First load of hay offloading in Texas.

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – With no system in place to shelter large animals and livestock during severe weather, many of them are left behind.

“Some of this livestock is not going to make it.” Equine of Aiken Manager Jim Rhodes told WJBF NewsChannel 6. “It breaks my heart, but if they are not going to make it, I want them to at least not be hungry or not starve.”

In just 3 days the rescue collected more than 8 tons of feed and 1,500 bales of hay to ship to Texas.

Another shipment of supplies is going to be personally delivered by Farm Manager Caroline Mulstay.

“I’m really excited to go,” said Mulstay. “I’m really excited to be able to help first hand and just see and meet all kinds of new people. Just be part of something that’s so much bigger than myself.”

The staff’s effort caught the attention of a national horse organization, who’s requested their help to supply a farm that can’t be reach by roadway.

“These animals that are starving, they are starving and standing in water and starving. They can’t get them out and they can’t get to them.” Rhodes said.

Volunteers drove a tractor-trailer, full of supplies, and together, with a team of helicopter pilots, have coordinated a drop to the starving livestock.

“The logistic of that is pretty tough. If you’re dropping hay you’ve also got to drop fresh water, people don’t think of that.” Rhodes said. “The water that they are standing in is, a lot of that, is brackish type water, not drinkable type water. So they’re sending up water pontoons with them while they drop the hay.”

The rescue staff says the most humbling part about getting supplies,directly in the hands of farmers, has been their sincere gratitude and only asking for the minimum to get by.

“You know what he’s not being selfish or anything like that. He’s asking for 10 bales. Give him 20. Don’t let any animals starve, if we can have the stuff there. If he needs it, there’s a need and he’s only asking for 10. He’s not being greedy, give him 20,” said Rhodes.

To follow Caroline’s trip, click here. 

To make a monetary donation, please click here. 

Count on WJBF NewsChannel 6 to bring you the latest on this developing story. 

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