LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Almost a year after being freed from a coyote trap in Gaston, a Lexington County dog is recovering from her injuries and waiting to find her forever home.
Last May, members of the Los Angeles based non-profit Hope for Paws flew to South Carolina to assist in the rescue of a dog stuck in a coyote trap for nearly a week.
After failed attempts by animal control to catch the dog, local activist Kimberly Cockrell called the non-profit for help after her friend made her aware of the dog in distress.
Eldad Hagar and Loreta Frankonyte with Hope for Paws immediately jumped into action.
"They got on the red-eye out of Los Angeles and said they'd be here in the morning," Cockrell said. "There was no hesitation on their part and it was incredible to see."
Once they arrived, the three began working on a plan to successfully and safely capture the dog.
"Eldad called around to all of the local sporting goods distributers and no one had the soccer netting he was looking for," Cockrell said. "So he bought some from a place in Los Angeles and had it sent overnight to South Carolina. It was extremely heavy netting and we needed a lot of it."
The next day, Hagar, Frankonyte and Cockrell, along with 20 other volunteers worked together to capture the dog in the backyard of a private residence.
"She had been hiding in some bushes and we knew our movements as a group needed to be quick and purposeful, otherwise she might escape the netting and get away," Cockrell said. "That stress, combined with the serious injury to her paw would have been really bad for her already declining health."
The group was able to nab the dog, who ended up being named Hermione.
"We found her in the backyard of a man named Herman but since she was a girl, we had to find something similar to that," Cockrell said.
Hermione was immediately taken to Well Pets Veterinary Clinic in Irmo to be evaluated by doctors. Cockrell said after running around with the rusted coyote trap for six days, her paw was in dire shape.
"The doctors performed her first of many surgeries after removing the trap," she said. "She lost a few toes but the majority of her paw they were able to save."
Due to her injury, Hager and Frankonyte were able to fly Hermione back to Los Angeles. Instead, Cockrell said they decided to rent a car and drive across the country with her, stopping every day at local vet clinics to have her bandages changed.
Coyote traps are legal in South Carolina, however they are supposed to be checked frequently and anchored to the ground. Cockrell said in this case, it appeared the trap had been neglected for some time.
"It was incredibly rusted and clearly not anchored into the ground since she had been walking around with it for six days," she said. "While they are legal, I don't agree with the use of them. If we hadn't found her, she would have likely suffered a slow and painful death from sepsis." The non-profit Hope For Paws paid for all of Hermione's medical expenses, along with the costs associated with organizing and leading the rescue.
"I can't even imagine cost of all of this," Cockrell said. "It truly is incredible and it is a blessing our state has received that these people have come across the country twice now to help rescue animals in our state."
Hope For Paws recently posted the emotional video of Hermione's rescue and recovery.