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HOMETOWN HEROES: Dog Rescuers Nick Devaney and Grant McVicker

By: Sarah Sager Email
By: Sarah Sager Email

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Two boys were named WSAZ Hometown Heroes after finding a trapped, lost dog and helping it to rescue.

Nick Devaney and Grant McVicker were out in the woods one Friday evening when they heard something strange.

"We heard a mean growl. It was pretty dark out, so we couldn't tell if it was a big or small dog. So we decided to head back to my house," Grant McVicker said.

They boys could have gone on and forgotten about it, but the next day they remembered what they had heard.

"The next day we went back up to see what it was and investigate,” McVicker said.

What they found was a mixed breed dog named Valentino. His owner Pam Steelhammer says he’s one of a kind. She let Valentino outside Thursday. When he never returned, she knew something strange had happened.

"I knew something terrible had happened because he's just the most affectionate dog, and he would never not come back," Steelhammer said.

She began to pass out fliers and go door-to-door with no success.

Valentino had been caught in a trap. When the boys found him, they immediately took action. Within an hour a humane officer came to rescue the little dog.

"I told them if it hadn't been for your outstanding job this poor little dog would have died," Kanawha County Humane Officer Jeff Allen said.

"Oh, I was just so grateful they had done that. They were my heroes," Steelhammer said.

It's a feat that's earned them a lot of recognition.

"Grant, Nick, because of what you've done and your selflessness, your courage and sticking to looking for this dog WSAZ has made you their Hometown Hero. This is for you and this is for you. You so deserve it because you are my hero," Steelhammer said.

"It's not about doing it for money or anything. It's about doing what's right and helping a fellow animal lover and dog," McVicker said.

Every dog has its day. Thanks to a heroic effort by Devaney and McVicker, this day belongs to Valentino.


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