Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue provides aid in hurricane-impacted Alabama

Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue comes to aid of hurricane-stricken Alabama
Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue comes to aid of hurricane-stricken Alabama(Janet Hein)
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 9:35 PM CDT
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LOXLEY, Ala. (KMOT) - A local animal rescue group spent the past week on the road, in a boat and on farms offering aid to those affected by Hurricane Sally.

The Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue disaster response and relief team headed south to Alabama to see what they could do for the victims of the storm.

Several members of the TMAR team are finishing up a 27-hour drive back to North Dakota. Helping with construction, setting up feeding stations, providing pet food for those in need are just some of the ways they were able to help.

For the rescue team, Hurricane Sally isn’t their first rodeo.

“This’ll be our sixth hurricane that we’ve gone to,” said TMAR Founder Keith Benning.

Victims of Hurricane Sally come in all shapes and sizes, and for the team, it’s about finding where you’re most useful.

Staff in Belcourt reached out to other rescue organizations in affected areas to see who needed help and offer assistance.

Willow Farms, a Canine Equine Rescue Center in Loxley, Alabama, suffered property damage from the storm.

Director Janet Hein said she and her staff are thankful for the help they received.

“None of us are really pros at swinging a hammer. We patched things together the best we can, and then all of a sudden the next day, these four guys show up and this wonderful beautiful lady named Wanda, and they just worked their tails off. In a little over four hours they had everything fixed,” said Hein.

“One of the ladies had run a horse rescue and she didn’t have any help in getting things cleaned up we went there, helped her get her fences back up, get a horse shelter that she had that was partially knocked over we got that back up and running,” said Benning.

On top of helping with cleanup, the team partnered with a number of groups to help animals get the love and care they needed. They worked with the Baldwin County Animal Shelter in Summerdale, Alabama, and were able to save 53 dogs from euthanization.

The team also live streamed some of their projects on Facebook to help keep folks back home updated.

“Really in rescue, that’s what it’s all about is finding every way that you can to possibly help and sometimes they’re not pretty but somebody’s got to do it so that was what we did,” said Benning.

Finding ways to help no matter what form.

Now that they’re returned home the TMAR team is now asking for help from their community. The team is working on construction on their current building and are in need of volunteers.

You can donate your time by contacting the shelter here:, or by going to the groups Facebook page here:

You can also find out more about Willow Farms here:

Team members would also like to thank their partners for all of their contributions to their mission.

Photo Courtesy: Janet Hein

Pictured: John Neesmith, Jeff Camiel, Wanda Gonzalez, Steven Brush and Keith Benning.

Copyright 2020 KFYR. All rights reserved.

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