“Hurricane Cowboy”

Rhea Braganza, staff writer

“Hurricane Cowboy” Patrick Mckann (a Virginia horse trainer) and a group of friends went into Hurricane Florence earlier this month to rescue animals. Mckann said they rescued six horses, two donkeys, about 14 guinea fowl and lots of chickens that were threatened by the hurricanes waters of Florence.

This wasn’t the first time he’s done this. Last year, he went out to Texas by himself for Hurricane Harvey. “I bought a new truck and was listening to CNN on Sirius radio,” Mckann said. “They were talking about flooding and people down there (in the Houston area). I had this new truck and a trailer … so that’s when I said, ‘Well, I guess I’m going down there.’ ”

Mckann has been around animals his whole life and “cowboying” since he was a kid. At the age of five, he started riding auction horses, at 14, race horses, then at 17 he moved from riding horses to broncos and bulls. Mckann packed up his trailer full with supplies his friends and community members donated, and drove 1200 miles to southeast Texas. He even drove back to his hometown in Virginia to stock back up with supplies and brought them back. Mckann received his nickname from a woman who told a volunteer that she’d like to give her donations to the “Hurricane Cowboy.”

Patrick Mckann set up a Gofundme page (https://www.gofundme.com/Florence-rescue-and-relief) for donations of money and materials (like bottled water, animal feed, non-perishable food, hay) to help him handle the hurricanes.