TAYLOR COUNTY, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Many rural properties have been caught in the path of the Mesquite Heat fire. Where lands are destroyed, families have difficulties locating shelter, then pets and livestock are often displaced.

Celinda Snyder, Co-Owner of Little Bit Ranch & Rescue, was returning to Abilene with a longhorn when she heard the news of the Mesquite Heat wildfire. 

“In route, we were told that you could see the flames from our front porch,” said Snyder. 

Snyder told KTAB/KRBC that her ranch sits next to 800 acres of nothing but dry, brittle forest, Iberis Road directly behind them. 

“I’m more concerned that the animals go to safety, than getting my TVs out of my house,” Snyder said. “We’re just on-the-go, time of, if it comes close enough or if it starts really threatening us.”

Snyder said her rescued animals at the ranch totals 22 head, each ranging from a wild mustang, bull, horses, and a mini mule. As a precaution, Snyder decided to take her rescued longhorn, Jessica, to the Taylor County Expo Center.  

Executive Director for the expo center, Rochelle Johnson, said it was around 1:30 Thursday morning when the phones began to ring off the hook. The Expo Center said it’s taken in upwards of 70 horses and several longhorns, due to the fires. 

“We’re taking it one day at a time. My staff is ready and on standby, they’re here,” Johnson offered. “We’re prepared to do whatever we can do to help.”

Over in Hawley, Big Country Wildlife Rehabilitation Center’s Executive Director, Jennifer Kleinpeter, said they are also available to help, should any wildlife become displaced.  

“It is chaotic, but we’re used to this kind of work. We’re always running around, so this is nothing new,” Kleinpeter added. “We want to be there for our wildlife, so we’re available.”

Despite recovering from a busy week, Johnson said she and her team are always looking to support those in need.  

“I’ve had an outpour of people that have said they’ll come to help feed animals, so I’m just keeping a list of resources in case we need that,” Johnson said. “Thank God for this wonderful community that we live in.”

Even with an upcoming dog show, hosted by the Abilene Kennel Club, Johnson said stalls at Pole Barn are still available.

If you need a place for your displaced livestock or domestic pets, contact the Taylor County Expo Center at (325) 677-4376.