Farmers in Oklahoma have seen their ranches, livestock, and their livelihoods by flooding. Four longtime cowboy friends have voluntarily gotten together to save animals in deep waters.
“When we realized how bad this flooding was getting, and knowing many people didn’t have the means to get the help they needed to get animals out, we made a Facebook post and offered to help free of charge. This is the heartbeat of America. We weren’t going to sit back and do nothing.” said Cory Conley, 31.
The men joined by other community members have been crucial in over 15 serious missions to save animals in the area. Their goal most of the time is to save those they can by moving them up to higher ground.
Hunter Webster, 24, explained how he had to move an entire herd from being submerged in water. When they were moved, that area flooded and he had to move the same herd again to a safer area.
The volunteers have pulled out horses belly deep in water that have been stranded for days, or dragging out cows and sheep and even a defenseless cat sitting on a pole.
“The cat’s owner was a lady who had died a few weeks earlier and now her daughter was taking care of it, so, it was of extra importance the cat be saved.” said Casey Thomas, 29. Thomas also told reporters that the group had also rescued seven horses, four donkeys, and more than 350 cattle.
Their ingenuity has been remarkable to see as they once used red solo cups to make a visible trail when the flooding got too deep. They’ve had to rope cattle to boats as well as shoot a pistol through fences.
Acres of crops have been decimated and with the more rain announced to come the devastation and financial stress is significant. The value of one cow can be over $1,000, so each cow that has been lost can be significant to farmers who rely on them.
“Thousands of cattle lost. For some, it’s millions of dollars and it is all they have,” Shane Olson, 33, states.
Luckily the Cowboys are in it for the long haul, helping who they can for free.