LUTHER, Okla. – From the time everyone wakes up to the time they hit the hay, Jennie and Jason Hays stay busy making sure all of them – even some with special needs – have the best care possible.
Spanning 27 acres in Luther lies the home of 160 beloved animals.
However, recent weather has taken its toll on the Oliver and Friends Farm Rescue and Sanctuary.
“It’s been tough,” Jennie Hays said.
Animals had to be relocated after finding themselves in high water. In the pastures, the owners found large canyons, washouts and sinkholes.
“And that’s a huge problem because those animals get stuck,” Jennie said. “If they’re walking or if they’re running, they could break a leg.”
As creeks and ponds crumbled, they struggled to keep the animals safely housed.
“Because as the dirt washed in, it made our 6-foot-fence maybe two or three feet,” said Jennie. “Our goats were just stepping right over it.”
Fixing the goat pen cost the sanctuary $2,000. With the problems and rain totals continuing to add up, Jennie Hays says money is harder than ever to find.
“So as a non-profit, we have a pretty tight budget. We have money allotted for a ton of different things, so whenever we have a disaster like that it can throw everything out-of-whack,” she said.
While smaller animals are easier to protect, larger animals can present a problem.
“It’s a horrible feeling and we have a storm shelter but we can’t put a 2,000-pound Holstein in there with us,” Jennie said.
It seems every few days there’s a new problem after the never-ending rains and storms.
“It feels like an impossible task,” Hays said.
Oliver and Friends loves having volunteers come help and, of course, donations are always welcome.
For more information on how you can help, visit their Facebook page.