Horses -- yes, even horses -- evacuate ahead of Hurricane Dorian

Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

Damage from Hurricane Dorian at Abaco, Bahamas. Taken during the eye of the storm on Sept. 1, 2019. (Photo: Vernal Cooper Twitter/MGN)

AIKEN COUNTY, SC (WRDW/WAGT) – People, dogs, and cats are often evacuated quickly from hurricane zones. But what about horses?

Well, many horses from the Georgia coast were evacuated earlier this week to Aiken County.

Anne Kennedy and her husband live two miles from the ocean with their 21 horses on St. Helena Island.

“Our main project on the island is running commercial trail rides to the beautiful beaches of South Carolina,” Kennedy said.

Three days ago, they decided to pack up their horses and leave.

“It's beautiful in the marsh behind our property, but like the Lowcountry, it does flood,” Kennedy said.

The Kennedy's didn't want to risk putting their horses in harm’s way.

“They cannot remain in water on their legs, or it will damage their legs and they'll get infections on their legs, and then you get into some serious problems,” Kennedy said.

So they came to the Aiken Training Track where the stalls are free. Owners just need to bring bedding and food.

“We do this every time there is one and there are evacuations,” Lisa Hall from the Aiken Training Track’s Board of Directors. “We always open up to help folks.”

They're helping around 50 horses, and the Aiken Equestrian Center is helping more. They have 150 stalls for evacuees. It’s also a chance to help more horses and people like the Kennedy’s.

“We all have our differences in life, but when an emergency happens, such as this, it’s just heartwarming to us to be received so graciously and open arms,” Kennedy said.

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