Don Huhnke of Romeoville was doing what he does every day, walking his dog Missy, when, from out of a grove of trees walked an animal who would change his life.
The dog who has come to be known as Angel was actually limping out of the wood line. She had open wounds on her tail and head, and both were filled with maggots. Her left eye was hanging out of its socket. But for as bad as the dog looked, she had a look in her eye that Don described as pleading for help, and Don knew he had to do something.
“I said, ‘Missy, it’s OK, she’s hurt,'” he told his dog. “I opened the tailgate to the PT Cruiser. Missy sat up front, and I put Angel in the back.
“I can’t see any other condition where I would put another dog in the car.”
Don took Angel home and put her in the garage, with food and water. Then, he called his wife, Donna.
“I told her, ‘Look, we’ve got this dog in the garage. Don’t pull your car in or open the door,'” he said.
At this point, Don was trying to get help for Angel, but he was not planning to keep her. He was looking for a shelter.
“I was hoping there was a no-kill (shelter) and they would take her,” he said.
So, he called the police.
“I opened the garage door and (the police officer) said, ‘I’ve never see a dog this bad,'” Don said.
When Romeoville Animal Control arrived, they were equally shocked.
The animal control officer who arrived is also an animal lover. But, she knew saving Angel was going to be difficult.
So, she turned to Don and Donna and asked them if they were willing to keep the dog. They were.
“The way (Angel) looked as us, she was not a mean dog, she was a good dog,” Donna said. “We just knew she could not be put down, she’s really a good dog.”
So, animal control took Angel, with the expectation that they would do all they could to save her, and Don set about cleaning his car and garage.
“It took me about four hours to get all of the maggots hosed out of the garage,” he said.
In that time, the couple had been put in touch with Making a Difference Rescue, headed by Liz Bagley, who offered to help to fundraise a portion of the veterinarian costs.
The veterinarian estimated that Angel had been wandering for about a week in the wooded area where Don walks his dog.
The vet, Bagley and the Huhnkes assume Angel was used as bait for a dog fight.
Making herself at home
Today, Angel is a part of the family. And the more time she spends at the house, the more Don and Donna think Angel must have been someone’s pet.
“She hasn’t soiled in the house at all,” Donna said.
She and Missy are getting used to each other. In fact, the other day when they got in car to go somewhere, they both went to lie down in the back.
The Huhnkes are really grateful to the veterinarian, Dr. Cesar Agustin, who agreed to help Angel and to take payments. They also are grateful to Bagley and all the others who saw that Angel was a good dog and if she could be rescued she should.
“It was like a circle of love,” Donna said.
If you want to help, you can donate to pay to help with the outstanding veterinarian bill.
To donate to cover the veterinarian bills, send a check, made out to Make a Difference Rescue, to Bagley at P.O. Box 414, Channahon, IL 60410 or contact her at (815) 258-5892 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the veterinarian, Dr. Cesar Agustin directly at (630) 972-0067.
Dawn Aulet is a Herald News features reporter who can be reached at email@example.com or (815) 729-6085