This Farm Became a Sanctuary for Animals After Tragedy
The impetus for the creation of the Ima Survivor Animal Sanctuary was the awful week in August 2017 when Hurricane Harvey meandered about southeast Texas unleashing biblical amounts of rain and wreaking havoc on the people and animals who lived there. The survival of a donkey named Ima Jean from 6 foot flood waters, her struggle to live, and the fight to survive by her and the other animals from Lester Morrow’s ranch is the inspiration for this unique habitat.
The 100 acre Rocking M Ranch is nestled quietly in the beautiful city of Plum Grove, Texas. It is bordered by the mighty San Jacinto River to the west and has a variety of ponds, creeks and open grasslands. Miraculously, the ranch was able to ride out Hurricane Harvey relatively unscathed. What Lester and the other residents of Plum Grove did not know was that the San Jacinto River Authority was forced to open its floodgates to release pressure on its levees and dams to prevent a potential breech. With absolutely no warning, flood waters began to occupy all of the structure and dry space normally grazed by a wide variety of farm animals, and the Morrow family had no choice but to release all the pets and livestock, provide provisions as best as they could, give quick hugs and kisses, say a prayer, and evacuate their family to higher ground.
They received pictures and videos of their home, inundated by 6 feet of water with absolutely no dry land in sight. For three days they mourned the loss of their animal family. But on the day of their return, among all the horror of lost barns, destroyed homes and many deceased animals, a miracle emerged! There was life on the ranch.
“These guys mean the world to me,” Lester shared. “The miracle of that day was how these animals survived. That was the beginning of what we do now.”
Jami Walker and other volunteers saw the stories of devastation and jumped in to help with the recovery efforts. Hear and see how Lester’s ranch got back on its feet thanks to the generosity and spirit of Jami and others who pitched in. Now, two years later, they have turned tragedy into triumph and the ranch has become a sanctuary for the rescue and care of all types of animals. Keep an eye out for a new bunch of stars from this “survivor tale” including Bucky the Horse, Annie the Alpaca, Petunia Pig, Big Tex the Longhorn bull, and of course, Ima Jean!
Support the animal sanctuary at: imasurvivorsanctuary.com/
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Produced by Dani Guitelman
Edited by Kellie Sieban
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