DENHAM SPRINGS, LA (WAFB) - One of the last horses to be rescued from Agape Ranch in Denham Springs is finally back at home after spending more than a month being treated at LSU's Vet School following last month's historic flooding.
For the past two days, he and other horses at the Denham Springs ranch are getting much needed attention from a horse rescue group out of Long Island, New York.
The horse's owner, Stephanie Karaty, is taking advantage of every moment with Cody. He has been part of her family for about 12 years, but last month when flood waters invaded the ranch, she was scared she would never see him again.
"I didn't know if he was alive and I didn't know if he was dead," Karaty recalled. "I wasn't sure what the situation was at the barn."
She said she remembers getting a text message from ranch owner, Sandi McGrew, telling her the barn was going underwater fast and that the horses were in danger. Miles away from Cody, she felt helpless.
"I could just picture him in his stall standing in that water and just holding his head up to survive," Karaty said.
The barn took on more than five feet of water. Inside, the water line is still visible more than a month later. Unfortunately, three horses did not survive. The horses that did survive were forced to stand in water for about four days. Cody developed a severe staph infection, the worst case treated at LSU's Vet School.
Pictures taken shortly after the rescue caught the eye of Marisa Striano, owner of Spirit's Promise, an animal rescue in Long Island, New York.
On Saturday, September 17, she and other volunteers spent the day working to get the barn back to normal. Their original plan was to help as many places as they could in south Louisiana, but after seeing the devastation at the Denham Springs facility, they decided to devote the majority of their efforts at Agape Ranch.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Striano. "I've never personally experienced such loss myself, so to see people that rise to the occasion, it completely humbles you, so we decided we were going to help them as much as we could."
The group has been mucking out stalls, feeding the animals, and providing the love and care they need after such a traumatic experience. They also plan to gather building supplies to send back to help the ranch fully recover.
"We have connections and we have people that can give and can help, so that's exactly why God and the universe put us here to help," Striano added.
Karaty said Cody is about 80 percent better now, but getting his home back in shape will definitely speed up his progress.
"I think in about three to four months he'll be back at 100 percent and we'll be able to start exercising him again," she added.
Spirit's Promise plans to send additional supplies soon, but the ranch will still need help to make the repairs once they arrive. To contact Agape's Ranch click here.