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Brentwood; Calif — Hold Your Horses Livestock Emergency Evacuation Response Team is saving livestock from natural disasters and wildfires.
In 2013, a brush fire on Mount Diablo burned nearly 4,000 acres. Chantel Tieman and her daughter Naydeene rushed to the fire to help ranch owners evacuate their livestock.
“During that fire nobody really knew where they were going. They just knew there were horses and animals back there that needed help,” said Naydeene Koster, Vice President of Hold Your Horses Livestock Emergency Evacuation Response Team. “We sat down and went, there’s got to be a better way to do this. And now, we have turned into a full-blown evacuation team and rescue. So, that way we can help our community as much as we can.”
Since then, Hold Your Horses Livestock Emergency Evacuation Response Team has expanded to 45 members and has evacuated livestock from California’s largest and deadliest wildfires.
“Our mission at HYH is multifaceted, during natural disasters we focus aiding and evacuation,” said Koster. “Then following disasters, we focus on reaching out to those animals’ owners to make sure that they have everything that they need including feed, medical supplies, and even supplies for themselves.”
The Hold Your Horses’ team will follow-up with livestock owners weeks after the wildfires to make sure they have supplies to keep their livestock.
“We always want to make sure that the burden of taking care of their animals doesn’t fall so hard on them,” said Koster. “They just lost everything they own. So, we want to make sure that we help them.”
Hold Your Horses’ work does not stop after California’s fire season. The team works to educate the community and livestock owner’s to have an evacuation plan when disaster strikes.
Team members also rescue large and small animals from abuse, neglect, and from owner’s experiencing hardship.
“We are helping to save one more life which is always our goal,” said Koster. “At the end, it’s definitely a tremendous feeling knowing that not only have you provided safety to all these animals that potentially couldn’t have made it or been stuck behind the fire lines. The moment of reuniting the animal with the owner is very touching because some of those owners didn’t think they will see their animals again.”
Thanks to the kind donations and sponsors, the Hold Your Horses’ team is able to evacuate, transport, and provide aid to livestock owner’s impacted by natural disasters.
“It is so amazing,” said Koster. “It makes us want to work even harder for the next fire.”
For more information or to donate, visit Hold Your Horses website.