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Horses Need Dry Land

Suwannee County 4-H Member Rescues Animals from Hurricane Florence

Submitted by Dixie Corbin, Suwannee County 4-H Council Reporter

Edited by Derby Sale, 4-H Youth Development Agent

Rooftop Flooding

Flood waters up over the rooftops in North Carolina

Living out the 4-H Pledge

In 4-H, we pledge our heads to clearer thinking, our hearts to greater loyalty, our hands to larger service, and our health to better living, for our club, our community, our country, and our world. This past week one of Suwannee County’s 4-H members went beyond our community to help others within our country with Hurricane Florence relief.


Answering the Call to Action

Ariona Thomas traveled to North Carolina with her mother, Jessica Rowland, and a local animal control officer, Megan Hale. Their goal was to assist with the aid and rescue of animals from hurricane Florence. As an active 4-H member for many years in both the North Florida 4-H Equestrian Team and Rascally Rabbits 4-H Club, Ariona has lots of experience with raising various animals from birth. She especially enjoys making over wild mustangs to help get them adopted.

Helping Alpaca

Ariona and Megan Hale of Suwannee County Animal Control working together to give this alpaca oral electrolytes

This group of three courageous selfless women left out late on a Wednesday night and returned on Saturday. During this time they took trailer loads of pet kennels, dog food, cat food, live-stock feed, and hay. They also delivered over 4,000 pounds of feed and other supplies to four different locations that were sheltering and distributing to those in need.


Swimming Rescue

Rescuers working to swim the horses out of flood water

The three met up with a small rescue group and braved through snake and alligator infested sewage water. They were able to save several horses and alpacas that other rescues had tried, but failed, to save. Miles away from safe dry land, they fought the rapid conditions of the flood waters that covered houses and barns. The three women swam alongside the horses to a dry patch of ground that they found. The animals were too weak and too far into the flood to make it to any other area, but the animal’s owners were relieved to hear that they had been rescued to dry land. Ariona certainly used all four “H’s” as she helped in these aid and rescue efforts.


Using Your Skills to Give Back

If you have some time and skills or money you would like to give to those affected by Hurricane Florence, here’s a great link to get you started