For eight-year-old Logan Tarlow ’27, helping others to heal is second nature. Last week, he shared with his classmates at the Lower School his experiences generating awareness and raising money for the residents of Rincón, Puerto Rico, who continue to struggle in the wake of the devastating Hurricane Maria.
Before he was even two years old, his mothers, Claudia Patino Tarlow and Wendy Tarlow, remember that Logan had an interest in animals and compassion for those in need. He often begged his parents to visit the dogs and cats housed at Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, a local nonprofit animal shelter. He even raised money and donated his own comfort items, stuffed animals and blankets, in hopes of bringing more comfort to the animals’ lives.
It was no surprise, then, that on a family vacation to Rincón, then-four-year-old Logan became enamored with a horse that he spotted grazing in a field. Logan and his mother learned that the horse, Papi, had been abandoned. After being tied up in various locations around town, Papi was ultimately found wandering across a dangerous stretch of curved highway. He was rescued by Defensa Animal de Rincón, an animal rescue organization, and was being cared for by a woman named Maria. Every year since, Logan has returned to Rincón, where he works with the organization to care for Papi and other rescued horses.
“I really enjoy horses,” Logan said. “Working with them makes me happy.”
In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 storm that was the worst to hit Puerto Rico in 80 years, Logan felt compelled to help those affected. He raised money for Third Wave Volunteers, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes relief volunteers around the world, by hosting lemonade stands and requesting donations instead of treats like Halloween candy and birthday presents. Though his efforts, Logan raised about $3,000, enough to send 20,000 solar lights to areas of Puerto Rico darkened by power outages.
According to his mothers, working with the horses is as therapeutic for Logan as it is for the horses. As Wendy battles serious illness, she finds that working with the animals gives Logan a sense of purpose and initiative while undergoing a situation in which others feel helpless. “This is healing and empowering for Logan,” Wendy said. “We support anything that makes his heart feel good.”
During his most recent visit to Puerto Rico, Logan found that his favorite horse Papi had been joined by several other horses, all of which had been abandoned, abused, or both. An unexpected side effect of Hurricane Maria has been that as more than 200,000 people have been forced to flee the island territory for their well-being, they are unable to bring their animals. Even animals that were once well loved and cared for are being widely abandoned in horrible conditions. For example, the Tarlows’ donations ensured that a 25-year-old horse Abuelo, who was found severely emaciated, could receive life-saving veterinary care.
The next project on the horizon is finding a permanent sanctuary for the horses. The land on which they are currently housed is up for sale, and the race is on to find a long-term solution. Logan is committed to making sure the horses get their forever home. “I hope they get more land, so they can be more free and live happy lives," he said."