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For thousands of residents across the western states, current wildfires threaten their way of life. When that evacuation orders are a go, residents pack up their most precious belongings and head out, leaving their homes. But for many of these residents, part of evacuating is moving all of their livestock. And just like Batman, when the signal goes up, ‘Cowgirl 911’ is there to help!
Cowgirl 911 is a Facebook group now more than 18,700 strong. They are helping animal evacuations and transportation across Oregon. Katie Schrock is the group’s founder. She was inspired by a similar California-based group called Cowboy 911. Katie is the Vice President of Benton County’s Rodeo Committee. She knows the importance of saving livestock and helping out the local rural communities.
Since the group began on Tuesday, September 8th, 2020, Katie estimates they have assisted in saving over 20,000 animals.
“When we were doing the math, we think we’ve helped over probably 20,000 animals at this point,” said Katie in an interview with KGW 8. “It’s like mind-blowing.”
How ‘Cowgirl 911’ Works
In order to run smoothly, Katie has devised an efficient system. The page receives hundreds of pleas for help everyday. When someone needs an evacuation, they are able to fill out a Google Form. This form converts to a ticket for one of the hundreds of volunteer haulers.
“So within 10 minutes of filling out a form for help, somebody has wheels rolling on the ground for help to your location,” said Katie.
For many farmers, ranchers and animal lovers, this group has meant the world. The group helps safely evacuate their entire family, including their furry family members.
As the evacuation orders are no longer in effect, the group will also assist in transporting the evacuee animals. The group members plan to help safely get the animals back to their homes or alternate locations.
Through tough times, the community of cowgirls needs to band together and use their talents, skills and full hearts to help each other reach the other side. Katie Schrock, and the entire ‘Cowgirl 911’ community are truly incredible cowgirls (and cowboys)!