Retired Marine And Group Of Fearless Animal Lovers Rush Into The Flames Of California Wildfire To Rescue Animals

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The Carr Fire has destroyed 98,724 acres already since it broke out last Monday. With only 20% contained, it is one the deadliest and most destructive of the wildfires burning in Western US. Evacuations are being ordered, but what about the horses and other animals being left behind?

Tucker Zimmerman, a retired US Marine, along with a group of animal lovers are bravely returning for the animals left behind. Zimmerman started to venture into the evacuated areas with a borrowed trailer from his work to save the stranded animals. Others used their own personal vehicles and equipment to rescue animals. Meanwhile, the fire is causing road closures and trees to fall in the path of escape. The rescuers are using chainsaws to cut trees out of the way to get the animals to safety.

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A Facebook group Cowboy911 was set-up for people to reach out if they need help. It is also a way for all the helpers to communicate. The page has nearly 3,000 members and over 800 posts in the past two weeks. The group is open to anyone in the area that is able and willing to help. It consists of ranch owners, vets, horse trainers, farriers, caring locals, and many more. All working together to save the lives of animals.

Photos:Facebook/Cowboy 911

Photos:Facebook/Cowboy 911


Ranches, barns, and many other locals are opening up their facilities to take in the rescued animals. Cowboy 911 group is working with locals that reach out that need to have their animals rescued. Some do not have a way to transport them, while others were forced to evacuate immediately.

A stubborn mule named Ben was just one of the animals rescued. Zimmerman posted, “Ben our Stubborn Carr Fire Mule our official Mascot. Lol. Shasta County Strong.”

Photo: Facebook/Tucker Zimmerman

Photo: Facebook/Tucker Zimmerman


Zimmerman is working with other kind-hearted individuals to coordinate food, supplies, and water for all the rescued animals. Other animals like dogs, chickens, goats, pigs, alpacas and cats are also being rescued and brought to shelters or sanctuaries. The group of heroes that are saving these innocent animals – helps restore your faith in mankind.

Photos:Facebook/Cowboy 911

Photos:Facebook/Cowboy 911


The community has really come together to help those in need. Mechanic shops have offered their help if a truck or trailer needs repair. Others are volunteering to help feed and care for the rescued animals. The group set up a supply list and a schedule to help care for the animals.

When the trailers are not full of rescued animals, the heroes are transporting donated hay and food to the sanctuaries. Hopefully, it will rain and the fire will be contained. In the meantime, thank you to all the people risking their lives and saving animals!

Photos:Facebook/Cowboy 911

Photos:Facebook/Cowboy 911

“I truly appreciate everyone’s help so far and for showing the World, Cottonwood and it’s Community will stand Shoulder to Shoulder for everyone in need,” wrote Zimmerman.

You are all heroes!

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Andrea Powell is an animal enthusiast who lives in West Michigan. Her horse and 3 dogs are her children. She loves to write and share her knowledge of equine and canine nutrition. In her spare time she likes to volunteer with animal rescues, camp with her husband and dogs, and trail ride with her horse.
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