HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - He’s been named the “Hurricane Cowboy.” Patrick McKann, of Henrico, is leading an effort to rescue horses, cows and other farm animals left suffering in the flood-torn Carolinas.
McKann said so far it’s been a trying mission, but his crew has saved many animals from suffering, including three horses, two donkeys and countless dogs and cats.
McKann and his rescue partner, Travis Holstein, teamed up with other livestock animal rescuers from Texas, once they hit the worst areas of the Carolinas. The “Hurricane Cowboys” use an air boat to reach livestock caught in high water. McKann also has multiple trucks filled with supplies like feed and medical kits, donated from the Richmond area, running in and out of the Carolinas.
"We had to lasso two wild donkeys,” said McKann. “We’ve seen pigs. We’ve seen cows. We’ve seen horses, chickens, ducks,” said McKann.
In photos from the Myrtle Beach Herold, McKann and Holstein mustered through the water - at times up to their chest - to lead three starving horses to refuge in Buscksport, South Carolina.
“They were going to drown if we didn’t get to them,” said McKann.
Hurricane Florence is McKann’s second rescue mission. During Hurricane Harvey last year, McKann sent down seven supply-loaded trucks to Texas. He stayed in the state, rescuing livestock for a month.
McKann said many animal rescue groups are able to help with dogs and cats. However, less volunteers are equipped to help larger stock animals. That’s why the Hurricane Cowboys say they’re determined to reach every animal possible, left in Florence’s wake.
“We have good days. We have bad days. We’ve seen a lot of death,” said McKann.
McKann fears the worst flooding may still be to come.
“The rivers are not due to crest until Thursday or Friday,” he said.
That’s why McKann is already sending word for more donations from Richmond, and plans on making repeat trips hauling more trailers full of supplies, for as long as it takes.
“The people back home are already getting ready to reload a semi-trailer,” said McKann. “I’d like to thank everybody back home for their support.”
McKann and other volunteers are still accepting donations throughout their journey, as they make trips back and forth to the Carolinas. Donations can be made online or dropped off at the following locations:
- Champion Saddlery (Doswell)
- Champion Saddlery (Midlothian)
- Ashland Feed and Seed
- Southern States (West Broad St.)
- Southern States (Montpelier VA)
- Southern States (Williamsburg Rd)
- Tractor Supply (Mechanicsville)
- Tractor Supply (Dinwiddie)
- Cleaning supplies
- Mold/mildew removal supplies
- Face masks (for mold)
- Hand Tools (Shovels, rakes)
- Pet Food
- Horse/Cattle feed
- Hay (round & square)
- Non-perishable food
- Bottled water
Anyone interested in volunteering sorting and loading donations can contact Linda Warner at Champion Saddlery (804) 227-3434.