HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - The Henrico horse trainer journeying to Texas to help suffering livestock, pets, and of course people, ravaged by Hurricane Harvey, is documenting his trip on Facebook to a slew of dedicated followers.
Last week, Patrick McKann started a campaign to pack trailers full of donations to drive down to the Houston area. McKann and his partner in the effort, Erin Scarborough, have made the trek and are sharing their accounts of the devastation and relief effort.
McKann and Scarborough have clocked about 12 hours of sleep over the last five days. But when you watch their dedication to saving animals, and people, you'd never know it. They drove more than 1,300 miles to miles to Galveston, Texas, with a trailer loaded with donations from Richmond-area Virginians.
"We appreciate everything you have done so far... you have given from your heart," said McKann to his followers in a Facebook Live video.
They stopped to aid in Harvey-ravaged towns under the guide of rescue agencies on the ground. "As you can see the roads are treacherous down here," noted McKann while driving through a road flooded with about three feet of water.
McKann and Scarborough are rescuing and transporting stranded animals to higher ground and shelters, like two trapped cows they found in a barn.
"I ended up just jumping in the water with just my jeans, no waders on. I had my boots. The water went up waist high," recounted McKann.
They're finding suffering horses, dogs, cats, and even chickens. "One place alone has 600 dogs and 250 horses," said McKann of one shelter.
McKann did not take video of another shelter because he says the horses are in such painful condition.
"If a horse stands in water for four or five days, he gets sepsis. He's also getting what they call river rot. It looks like they became a burn victim," he described. "There are horses that drowned."
McKann and Scarborough helped load hay into helicopters to be air-d ropped to cattle that can't be reached. They are also delivering feed nonstop to different d rop-off points. But Tuesday, their focus was getting supplies to people trying to salvage whatever's left of their homes.
"Everyone lost everything," said Scarborough of the neighborhoods they've driven through. "People don't have cars so they can't come to the donation sites and get their stuff."
McKann is vowing to make repeated trips to Texas, running on adrenaline, and undoubtedly, his huge heart. "Keep up the good fight. We will not waver. We will not falter. We will not finish until the job is done," said McKann in his latest video.
McKann has two more full trailers in Ashland at Champion Saddlery North, and is currently looking for drivers with a truck, willing to ride the trailers down to Texas. He will supply funding for gas and food. Contact Champion Saddlery North at (804) 227-3434 if you are interested.
McKann says he will be making repeated trips to Texas, so the donations can keep coming. Donations, for animals or people, are still being accepted at the following locations:
- Champion Saddlery North, 15225 Breedens Rd, Doswell
- Champion Saddlery South, 913 Grove Rd, Midlothian
- Southern States, 8718 West Broad Street, Henrico
- Ashland Feed and Seed, 120 Thompson St, Ashland
Some suggested supplies needed are horse shavings, cattle feed, cattle cubes, horse feed, pet food, tarp, generators, cleaning supplies and fans.
If you would like to support McKann, he has a fundraiser on GoFundMe.
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