Tucker Zimmerman is used to being called into dangerous and dramatic situations. But the retired U.S. Marine found himself at the center of a whole different type of rescue mission these past few days — saving stranded horses and livestock from the devastating wildfire that continues to engulf much of Northern California.
“I’m just the guy who moves stuff around,” Zimmerman said of his heroic actions.
Despite his modesty, though, there is no doubt that this veteran showed his true character as he ventured forth into perilous areas of fire-torn countryside. He’d quickly gather up the panicking horses and ship them to safe locations at their owners’ property.
“He restored my faith in humanity,” Noah Urban, an Oregon resident whose stranded 6-year-old horse named Bolt was saved by the war vet, told KVOA-TV.
“You’re not just helping the animals, he’s helping people to alleviate their stress,” he continued. “It would be like losing your children. If you had to leave them behind — I can’t even think about it.”
But Zimmerman is not alone in his mission of compassion. All across Shasta county, willing volunteers are coordinating rescue efforts to ensure that animals are kept safe from the wildly unpredictable inferno. In Anderson, an empty storefront is being used as a makeshift animal shelter.
Dan Fults, 47, and his wife, were among the hundreds who dropped their pets off at the local mall — Dan delivered his beloved Huskies to the shelter shortly after fleeing his home.
“Sure, I have valuable things in my home, but the pets obviously take priority,” Fults said.
As for Zimmerman, he’ll continue to wait in his truck, ready for the next callout. He has become well-known for his incredible ability to calm frenzied horses.
“When I was deployed (in the military), I couldn’t have animals, but I am an animal lover,” he said, adding that he is also freely available for human rescues
“I saved a guy named Matt,” Zimmerman shared, adding that the man was “trying to water down his house” when the flames broke out all around him.
“I said, ‘Let’s go!’” the vet recalled, telling KGO-TV that every house in the neighborhood was on fire. “I got him pulled out, protected him with a garden hose until firefighters arrived. They took over, but I got his American flag and gave it to his wife because I promised that to her.”
Anyone needing; Horses sheep goats donkeys evacuated and to a safe place and need them hauled please call: Tucker (530) 604-7994
Social media was flooded with praise for the selfless hero.
“I am old enough to be this boy’s father. I am proud of Tucker Zimmerman,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Put aside ex Marine, he’s just a private citizen now & nobody told him ‘after work today, go round up the stranded horses,’ nobody made him rescue anybody, anything. Just his kindness Makes me proud American.”
“Tucker Zimmerman is…a true American Hero!!” another added.
“What a heroic and compassionate figure, this guy is! God bless you Tucker Zimmerman!”
“Many blessings to former Marine Tucker Zimmerman for rescuing horses from the CA fires. There are MANY heroes in our USA, and I am proud to salute one of the best!”