Hero the puppy’s road to recovery

MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY — We first told you about Hero on May 1. He’s making tremendous strides after abuse. Someone found the pup with his mouth taped shut, electrical tape residue on his legs, and a tail broken in three places.

The man who sheriff’s deputies say admitted to abusing the dog is out on bail. His arraignment on felony animal abuse charges is Thursday May 16th.

While he’s made great strides, Hero still has a way to go in his physical and emotional recovery.

“Pet owners, take care of your animals. This is a hard thing,” McCracken County Humane Society Executive Director Terry Vannerson says.

Something that makes the healing process harder is that those who are caring for Hero don’t know the full extent of abuse he suffered before he was found. “He’s a puppy now, but we don’t know how long the torment he went through or how long it’s going to take to teach him to be trusting,” says Vannerson.

Hero was found April 30 brought in with his mouth taped, tail broken and weak. As of May 15, Hero is 10 pounds heavier and playful. “The wounds are healing. He does have a lot of scabs on him. He still got some softness on his palate,” says Vannerson.

Hero’s tail will be amputated. His other physical scars will heal. What will take time is his emotional recovery.

“I took him out a little while ago, and the cameraman made a screech or a door opened or something like that, and he just, you know. Noises and things like that he’ll have to get used to,” says Vannerson. She says it will take much longer for him not to fear people.

“We have to build trust with this dog. This dog has not had a good puppy life, and so our goal is to make it as comfortable and trustworthy as possible.”

Despite being left to die, Vannerson describes Hero as loving and friendly. He’s learning to be what he is, a puppy.

People have reached out to the humane society asking to adopt Hero. Vannerson says he may not be up for adoption for another month or longer. When exactly will depend on his recovery and the court case for the man accused of abusing him.

Jayce Bryant of Kevil is charged with torture of a dog with serious physical injury, which is a class D felony. He could face up to five years in prison if convicted.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Thursday in McCracken County.