TEMPLE, Texas — Most of the time, traveling on the back roads in Temple is a quiet experience.
Surrounded by fields, farmhouses every few miles and more animals than people, the sound of traffic and commotion is few and far between.
But this is not the case on Creek Road in Temple, where Tiny Hooves Rescue and Petting Zoo resides.
On that road, you’re sure to hear the roosters crowing, the pigs oinking or the construction team working on upgrades on the farm.
All of these sounds, and plenty more, are some Shelby Michalewicz and her husband are leaving behind as they head to Louisiana in an effort to help those affected by Hurricane Ida.
“Me and my husband talked about it,” she explained. “We talked about it throughout the weekend, we were like let's see what happens, maybe it'll reduce in size and it didn't.”
It wasn’t a hard conversation for the two.
As a couple who remembered the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, they remember the dark times a lot of folks faced.
They also remember the good to come out of it too.
Like their beloved Forest, a stray dog who wandered out of the forest in search of someone caring who would be able to help them.
As it turns out, he found just the right people.
“That was really where it started,” she remembered. “When he walked himself out of the woods, we thought he was a Chupacabra. That's been a long-living joke for him, but we recently lost him.”
Now, as thousands in the bayou state continue to struggle, she knew she wanted to give some people the same feeling her dog gave her.
“We saw how the animals were just so terrified from a situation like that,” she said. “They're just looking for loving hands, someone to be nice, to be gentle to give them the hug that they need.”
So, the two got to work cleaning out their trailer and went to social media, asking their following for both physical and monetary donations.
They're not leaving the humans out either; the two collected and purchased food, water and everyday necessities to drop off to shelters as well.
“We're all here together, to kind of help out,” Steven Houston, Michalewicz’s husband said. “It kind of makes you feel good when everybody comes together, and you're not just one person, especially with a community like this.”
Collectively, the two gathered up thousands of dollars and a trailer full of donations to bring.
“I know it's a rough situation, we're gonna probably see some stuff that probably ain't gonna be the greatest. But at the same time, people do need help,” Houston explained.
For how you can help out and updates of their trip, visit their Facebook page at Tiny Hooves Rescue and Petting Zoo.