As days of intense rainfall and cresting rivers force evacuations in Louisiana, the Lamar Dixon Expo Center has opened its doors to hundreds of displaced horse and other animals — and they need help.
Thousands of residents have been displaced by historic flooding in Louisiana since rain began to fall last week; some areas around Baton Rouge received over 24 inches of rain. As creeks and rivers overflowed their banks and waters rose, a reported seven individuals lost their lives. In some locations, waters rose so quickly that residents had time to do little more than flee, let alone pack belongings. East Baton Rouge and the surrounding parishes are among the hardest hit.
The Lamar Dixon Expo Center of Gonzales, Louisiana, located in Ascension Parish, opened its doors as waters rose over the weekend, specifically to house displaced large animals.
“It’s not just horses — we have cattle here as well,” stated Lamar Dixon general manager Kyle Rogers, who kindly spoke with Horse Nation. “All five horse barns are filled, and there’s 120 stalls in each. We’re building another barn right now. We have hundreds of animals here.” After the initial wave of large animals slowed, the facility began taking in displaced pets and small animals as well.
While the rivers reportedly have reached their crest and are starting to fall, Rogers is looking at a minimum of a week until animals might be able to return home, and for some horse and livestock owners the wait may be much, much longer depending on the amount of damage. The greatest need right now is hay and feed — most owners only had time to evacuate the livestock and were not able to load up with feed.
There are no specific channels to donate directly to Lamar Dixon Expo Center, but Rogers encourages any readers interested in helping to donate through the Red Cross. Click here to open the Red Cross donation page, where you can designate your funds to go directly to Louisiana flood relief.
To contact Lamar Dixon Expo Center, please click here to open the facility’s website.
We send our best wishes to the people of Louisiana and our sincerest thanks on behalf of horse owners to the generous staff at Lamar Dixon Expo Center for opening their doors in a time of great need.
Update 8/16/16 7:35 PM:
Brandi McGovern contacted us directly from just outside of the flood zone in Louisiana and reported the following: “[Lamar Dixon Expo Center is] in dire need of supplies like hay, feed, water hoses, buckets, basic medical supplies, hay nets, box fans, and almost anything else needed for daily care. I am working with two stores to collect donations and supplies to deliver to the shelter later this week. There is also a need for small animal items like food, bowls, and crates.”
If you would like to donate directly to the supply fund for Lamar Dixon, the two stores with which Brandi is working include:
- Tractor Supply Company in Hammond, Louisiana: 985-340-2888
The best way to donate here is to place the amount you want to donate put on a gift card, so Brandi and volunteers can purchase whatever supplies are most needed. It also saves time because the store is experiencing heavy local crowds while working with a skeleton crew.
- Quality Feeds in Covington, Louisiana: 985-893-3889
Donations will be put on Brandi’s account to pick up feed and hay to deliver to the shelter.
Donations directly to these two stores are preferable, but Brandi can also accept donations to her Paypal account at [email protected]. Any funds received through Paypal will be applied to one of the above stores for purchasing supplies.
Update 8/19/16 3:00 PM:
Ascension Parish turned over Lamar Dixon disaster animal sheltering to Louisiana State Animal Response Team (LSART) and partners on Wednesday. Ways you can help the effort:
- Make a financial donation to assist with costs of rescue, response, sheltering, administration and veterinary care.
- Donate hay via the Louisiana Farm Bureau hay clearinghouse.
- Donate feed, pet food and miscellaneous supplies via Louisiana VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) — email [email protected] for more information. For large volume donations, contact the Louisiana State Department of Agriculture and Forestry.
- Volunteer services — email name, certifications/licenses, availability, phone, address, and email contact with VOLUNTEER or VET VOLUNTEER (if you a Louisiana licensed veterinarian) to [email protected].