I first met them during the Shasta County Carr Fire. I watched as they made their way down our little winding road, through the thick smoke that had settled over the farm. Silently they came, seemingly out of nowhere. We hadn't seen a human in six days. You see, our road had been closed due to the threat of fire. That meant that no one was allowed in. But here they came, truck after truck, pulling huge stock trailers, 24 in all. I stood in awe, thinking maybe I was seeing a mirage.
They stopped at our gate, lining the road as far as I could see. Out jumped cowboys and cowgirls, too many to count. Nope, not a mirage. They were real alright.
They explained that they had come to help us evacuate as the fire continued to come our way. Calm, cool, collected. I assured them that we were doing OK – so far, even though we were still in the path of the fire. Our plan was to shelter in place. “We're Cowboy 911,” he told me. I was handed business cards and phone numbers. A feeling of relief washed over me, knowing that they were just a phone call away. Then off they drove, as quietly as they had arrived, no doubt to help more people in need.
But who are “Cowboy 911”? I planned to find out....
Well, it seems that this group was formed by Justin Jones and Jill Pierre on July 18, 2018. They are everyday people, self described as a group of neighbors helping neighbors, formed to help people in need of assistance during any type of animal related emergency.
In this seemingly short period of time, they have grown to over 19,000 members, which now extend over several states.
So here's how it works: If you find yourself and your animals in a dangerous situation of any kind, just look them up on Facebook – Cowboy 911. Describe your plight and give your location. Soon help will be on the way. No distress call is too large, nor is one too small.
The Carr and Camp Fires are perfect examples of their heroism. They go where others fear to tread. The number of animals that have been rescued from these fire areas are too enormous to count. From chickens to horses and everything in between, Cowboy 911 was there to help. At times as many as 50 crews of Cowboy 911 were on the scene. They fed, evacuated, and at times delivered animals in need to safe places. The stories of heroism are endless.
Now it's time to give back to these knights in shining armour. Supplies and donations are desperately needed to keep this unbelievable group moving forward, saving countless lives.
To donate: Paypal Jilliesu@gmail.com or to learn more about their immediate needs, go to Facebook Cowboy 911.
As for me, I feel a deep sense of security knowing that they're out there – these heroes in our midst.