CLINTON, LA (WAFB) - So when Beth Dawson sent me this nomination for Hand It On she reminded me, a fellow United Methodist, what John Wesley used to preach:
"Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can."
Then I went to Clinton and met Beth's nomination, Mr. Tim Travis.
In the first five minutes with Tim it was blatantly obvious he is one individual who puts John Wesley's mandate into action every day. Not only does he follow Wesley's guidelines but he adds a step. He does all he can to help animals in need, especially horses.
Travis has a mission he started that will tug on your heart strings, especially if you love horses. He has made it his mission to rescue abused and neglected horses. He has found foster families that take in these animals and provides quality care to assure the greatest chance of full recovery of their malnutrition and wounds. They also provide testimony in criminal court to the condition of these horses when criminal charges are filed.
In 2013 Travis tried rescuing four horses. He had a colt that died in his arms; one horse was so abused that it had to be euthanized; and the other two have happy homes and doing so much better. These horses need a safe place where they feel unconditional love and that's the type of homes he finds for these horses. Beth and her husband have adopted three of Tim's rescues.
And the stories Tim told me and the pictures he showed me of the magnitude of abuse and neglect were horrific. I absolutely could not use most of the "before" pictures Tim gave me for this story, they were so shocking. Take for example a horse he found that was nothing but skin and bones and had a sore as big as your fist on his back. It was so big you could actually put your fist down into the wound.
When Tim found the horse it was tied up so it couldn't get to the water and didn't have anything to eat. The owner had been putting a saddle on the horse without a blanket and it was rubbing the horse raw. After doing this time after time it made the huge sore on his back.
Tim told the man he wanted to rescue the horse and the man didn't want to give it up. So Tim told him he would call the law on him for abuse and cruelty to animals. Then and only then the owner handed the horse over.
Tim then spoke with friends Ed and Leslie Daniels and they decided they would adopt the horse. They decided to call the mare "Hope" because they had faith and hope in "Hope," that she would pull through and survive a very horrible case of starvation and the massive wound.
Hope is now a beautiful horse, has filled out, and the wound has healed. Hope is very gentle but when she sees children, she runs the other side of the pasture. She remembers that saddle making the sore as children rode on her back; therefore she is a little skittish around children.
In 2014 Tim had a Ride for the Rescue poker run that took motorcyclists on a gorgeous and meandering ride through the rolling hills of the Feliciana's. All money raised went for horse feed and other supplies.
During the historic floods of August, 2016, Tim organized a massive horse rescue in addition to goats, sheep, horses, dogs, cats and a mule. The mule is now Tim's pet!
Tim found the mule tied to a tree and water was up to his neck. He named him, "Lucky Jack." Tim said Jack knew immediately he had been saved. The very first thing Jack did once he was untied and out of the water was walk up to Tim and place his head on Tim's shoulder.
They've been best friends since.
Tim is getting Jack ready to visit schools, nursing, home, etc.
All total, Tim rescued 48 horses during the August flood. He was able to get feed and hay donated while all the animals were housed at the East Feliciana arena. The dogs and cats were sent to Dixon Correctional Institute in Jackson, where inmates helped those lost animals get adopted.
Since Beth Dawson sees first hand all the good Tim Travis does, she nominated him for WAFB's Hand It On award. Tim immediately gave some of the money to the veterinarian he knows who donates her time and resources to help nurse all the horses back to health Tim brings to her.
And finally, Tim stressed that horse ownership is very expensive. Some people get into horse ownership without realizing how much it costs to properly care for that large but beautiful creature. If you know someone who accidentally got in over their head with horse ownership and does not know where to turn, Tim stresses there are many families that would gladly adopt their horse. Call your local animal welfare society for specifics. But do not neglect your horse. We have a moral responsibility to take extra care for animals that God so graciously places in our care. Let's all do the right thing!
To nominate someone for Hand It On, send an e-mail with your story, and your contact information, to HandItOn@wafb.com.