Cajun Cowboy Rescue helps animals get to safety during fires

Published: Sep. 6, 2023 at 10:01 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A remarkable organization sprung into action to rescue livestock and animals affected by recent devastating fires.

Stephanie Williams, a Vernon Parish resident, spearheaded Cajun Cowboy Rescue, bringing together people from all over to save the lives of innocent creatures caught in the flames.

In the wake of the historic wildfires that have swept through Southwest Louisiana, the situation for many animals became increasingly dire. Acres of land burned leaving livestock and pets in peril. However, out of this crisis, a glimmer of hope emerged.

“It became a panic when the fire started coming closer and you know, we were faced with basically if we couldn’t haul our horses out, having to turn them loose, so we thought it would be a really good idea to have a group of people together that you could call if a fire came near you to be able to basically be like first responders for livestock,” Williams said.

Williams’ call for assistance resonated with people, not just in Louisiana.

“A young man there on a horse and I just said, where are you from, and he said we’re with the Newton County Posse, and they’re from Texas and they came over to help us,” Williams said.

Two horses died in the fires, and the organization hopes in the future they can prevent other deaths.

“This is something where had the people maybe had somebody to contact earlier, they could have gotten a hold of us and we could have gotten to them and loaded the horses up and got them to safety,” said Williams. “We believe that the horses were just turned loose because that was all the person could do.”

Cajun Cowboy Rescue wants to let everyone know to contact them if they need help during any future emergencies or disasters.

“If you have an elderly neighbor, perhaps that is not on Facebook, and if they have livestock, please make sure that they know that we exist, so that way if there is an emergency that they’ll, they’ll know to contact us,” said Williams. “All the cowboys that actually went out and gathered cows gathered horses, they were the ones out there, you know, on the front lines, just like our firefighters, just like our EMS. The community has really come together to support what’s been a tragic situation but making something good happen from it.”

Cajun Cowboy Rescue is completely volunteered, and they said there is no animal too big or small for them to help.