Equine evacuees find haven in Dripping Springs

Horses plucked from the flooding in the Houston area after Hurricane Harvey have found respite in Dripping Springs.

Six horses rescued from the flooded areas of Beaumont are now under the care of  Katie Dickinson, director and founder of Healing Horse Ranch in Dripping Springs.

The animals had suffered several lacerations and bruising from debris while stuck in the rushing waters during the flood; some of the horses also had difficulty breathing during their first days due to water in their lungs.

(Left to right) Sara and Claire Fischer of Dripping Springs help brush “Patches”, one of the horses that was rescued. This was the girls’ first time to volunteer at Healing Horse Ranch. (photo by Timothy Stuckey)

“When they first arrived the wounds on their legs were bright red and raw,” said Dickinson.

Although the animals have made a physical recovery, some still exhibit symptoms of emotional stress from the event. Dickinson said she and her team must take special care when handling these animals.

“We don’t know the owners of these horses, what they’ve been through or how they’ve been trained,” said Dickinson.

Dickinson, whose nonprofit ranch first began three years ago, said she doesn’t usually take in this many animals at once.

However, thanks to an outpouring of support from the community including Austin Equine Hospital, which donated most of its services, Dickinson has been able to properly care for and feed these animals, for the time being.

Dickinson said the cost of caring of one horse for one month is about $250. However, the medical needs of the horses cost an additional $150 per month.

“We could have these horses for several more months,” said Dickinson. “We’ll need more funding and donations.”

Dickinson is also working with Jefferson County to find the original owners of the horses, using a Jefferson County database in order to track any reports of lost horses.

“We want to make sure the horses go back to their right owners,” Dickinson said.

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