Palmetto Animal League’s story of a dog named Huck begins a few months back in a quiet Bluffton community where a frightened hound had been roaming the streets for weeks. The dog, whom some nicknamed “Lucky,” wouldn’t let residents get close to him.
When Carole Hartness and Cheryl Twillman learned that Huck’s time was running out, they kicked their rescue efforts into high gear. The wayward hound was considered a hazard to motorists, and local authorities were poised to tranquilize him in order to remove him from the area.
The two women had already spent day after day for a month using all their knowledge to bring Huck safely to PAL, but trapping the hound with the number 7 tattooed on his side (likely the vestiges of former hunting days) was going to take something more – something like pure love and determination.
Carole and Cheryl had plenty of both, as they gave it one last epic try before measures to tranquilize were taken. Acting on the advice of PAL’s dog behaviorist, they built a trap with hundreds of pounds of fishing net and a comfy-looking den to help lure Huck to safety.
They continued to feed the stray lavishly, brought one of their own dogs up to play and on the final day before authorities acted, their perseverance and devotion paid off. When they gently lured the hound into their handmade trap, he made no attempt to resist.
I believe PAL’s dog behaviorist Kevin McHale said it best when he told me, “I think Huck sensed he was finally safe and that he didn’t have to run anymore.”
After the women brought Huck to PAL’s Adoption Center, we decided he could use some quality time with Kevin at his family home before being put up for adoption. Despite exhibiting some of the telltale signs of abuse, Kevin says Huck is smart, laid back and quick to learn new skills. He is an extraordinary dog that is going to make someone a wonderful companion. Did I mention he loves cats?
I’ve taken away a few important things from Huck’s journey. Huck has reaffirmed my long-held belief that a dog’s capacity to love and forgive humans is boundless. I saw, firsthand, that having compassion for animals is most powerful when it comes in the form of action.
And most importantly, thanks to Carole Hartness and Cheryl Twillman, I know that the Hound once known as “Lucky” is – now in fact – one lucky dog.
Join the No Kill movement. Adopt, foster, donate or volunteer at www. PalmettoAnimalLeague.org.
Amy Campanini is president of Palmetto Animal League.