In response to the devastating Hurricane the World Equestrian Center in Ocala opened its doors to welcome nearly 3,000 equines
In response to the devastating Hurricane Ian that hit Florida last week, many horse owners have evacuated their horses to safety.
According to the Governor of Florida, Hurricane Ian was undoubtedly one of the most devastating hurricanes the territory has ever seen. More than two million residents evacuated their homes as the storm left Cuba and arrived in Florida on Wednesday afternoon,
September 28, as reported by local media. If the inhabitants left, a point of honor was also put to ensure the safety of the animals. Thus, many horse owners have evacuated their partners. For the occasion, the World Equestrian Center in Ocala opened its doors to welcome nearly 3,000 equines and other animals looking for shelter, like a Noah’s Ark: horses, donkeys, dogs, ponies and even a kangaroo and a turtle!
The infrastructure is designed to withstand a category 4 cyclone and the place has a backup generator in case of power failure.
This is the first time the site has been used as a shelter, “We started talking about it at 2pm on Friday, then we came up with a real plan. In 24 hours, just by word of mouth, we got 3,000 reservations,” Candace FitzGerald, WEC marketing director, told The Chronicle of the Horse.
Some people were not be able to evacuate their horses or prefered to keep them by their side to watch over them. The Humane Society of the United States has made some recommendations. They encourage owners to leave their horses in the pasture as much as possible with enough food and water to prevent the stables from collapsing on them.
Also, it is advisable to identify your horse by hanging a tag on its mane with its name, address and phone number.
The hurricane, rated as a Category 4 (on a scale of 5) at the time of its arrival, with winds of up to 240 km/h, was downgraded to Category 3 on Wednesday night.