Poncho's Rescue: A Baby Bull and a Big Flood

by Julie M. Thomas


In 2016, a devastating flood displaced tens of thousands of people and animals in and around Louisiana’s capital city. An estimated seven trillion gallons of water inundated the parishes surrounding Baton Rouge―three times more rainfall than during Hurricane Katrina―causing catastrophic damage to nearly 150,000 homes. Yet amid this unprecedented and chaotic event, volunteers banded together to help ensure the safety of countless people and animals. The inspiring true story of Poncho the baby bull’s rescue celebrates the bravery and kindness typical of these volunteers. 

Poncho’s story begins when a boy, Kaleb, and his father rescue the one-month-old calf from deep, dirty floodwaters. After they bring Poncho to an animal rescue center, the volunteer veterinarians there realize the baby bull is too sick to recover without special care, and they move Poncho to the LSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital, where vets and students work to help Poncho recover. Over the next two months, the little bull regains his strength and reunites with Kaleb. Poncho now lives with Kaleb’s family and many other animals, including his best friend, Princess the cow.

This heartwarming journey navigates a complicated and frightening event through the lens of a resilient community. Stylized color photographs of Poncho’s rescue and recovery provide young children with a visual aid to explain the story and insight into how veterinarians care for animals.

A worthy addition to any child’s library, Poncho’s Rescue reminds readers―young and old―that good things can happen even during disasters, and taking care of those in need requires everyone’s help.