The flood BC: Stranded horses cared for at the sanctuary
TORONTO – Just off Highway One in Chilliwack, BC, is a building that has been turned into a sanctuary for horses trapped by the recent devastating flooding.
It was the job of a man who was accustomed to persevere in spite of all difficulties.
“I want to be here with the horses,” Rob Kenney told CTV News. “They are just as stressed out as other people in this world, especially here before BC.”
Kenney is no stranger to stress. Six years ago, he received a devastating diagnosis.
“It turned out that I had stage 4 melanoma,” he said. “I only have three weeks left to live.”
Pictures of him during treatment show him 80 pounds lighter, a shadow of his former self. But he fought anyway.
“I had hope. I had faith. All I can do is push and stay strong,” he said.
Now, he is infusing that hope and strength.
With his routine work suspended because of the floods, Kenney, who was being ordered to evacuate after last week’s landslide, is volunteering to care for the horses that were swept away by the floods.
He even sends photos to their owners to reassure their animals that their animals are fine – while thinking about his own horse in Alberta, where Kenney often stays when he’s not working.
“He was the love of my life,” he said.
Kenney got his horse, Bubba, in remission.
“I talk to him and it’s good for my mental health. Horses do it,” he said.
The shelter is also helping other volunteers who are building deep relationships.
Shelley Schenderling, a volunteer, told CTV News: “We’ve all just come together and we’ve become one big family here.
For some volunteers, it was a distraction from the worries the storm had caused.
Justin Honeywell said: “I can’t sit on my couch, I can’t watch on TV.
There is still anxiety about the forecast, which predicts more rain soon.
In fact, Kenney rushed the animals into a sudden cataclysm while CTV News was interviewing him and his team.
But even though it’s a stressful time right now, he’ll be the first to tell you that life’s storms will pass eventually.
“Whether it’s tomorrow, it’s a week after that, a month from now, maybe three years from now,” Rob said. “You’ll get through it, and they’ll get through it.”
He is using his resilience to save the animals that once saved him.