Hundreds of animals left homeless and hungry by Hurricane Katrina are getting a helping hand from Oklahoma.
A Tulsa area trucker heard about their plight and headed south with as much food and supplies as he could haul.
The News on 6's Heather Lewin says it all started with a call for help on XM Radio. "She could get hay, but she couldn't get anybody to transport it." So Al Tocci did what he does best, loaded up his big rig and hit the road. "I don't even have any horses, I don't know nothing about horses, I don't know nothing about hay, I just felt bad nobody was doing anything for them.â€
Almost 50,000 pounds of hay, destined for a Louisiana shelter. Of the more 2,000 rescued animals, Tocci says many were taken care, but some were on their own. "The horses, I mean, you can see their ribs. It was pretty bad.â€
This is Tocci's second trip. The more than 800 bales of hay are all that he can carry, but he says it will only last the animals about a day and a half. Still, he says the volunteers welcome anything they can get. "It felt pretty good going down there, cause I felt bad for the animals everybody was taking care of the people, and the people were getting whatever they need. No matter what anybody says, the people are well taken care of, but the animals aren't getting anything."
Tocci hauls steel for a local company Monday thru Friday, then devotes his weekends and a big chunk of his paycheck, covering the entire cost of transporting the hay. "I'm getting about 6 miles to the gallon, it's 1,200 miles round trip. This will be my last week, because I can't afford the fuel anymore." The effort is being organized by a horse rescue group based in Illinois, which eventually hopes to adopt the animals.
Tocci says they have the hay, but each round trip costs almost $500 worth of fuel.