Hometown Hero: Hershey

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He may not be able to communicate with us directly, but Hershey the chocolate lab has been helping dogs throughout the area.

The companion of contractor Wayne Cates, Hershey travels to construction sites throughout Southern Kentucky. At one of his most recent jobs he was called into action.

"The Logan County Animal Clinic out of Russellville contacted us asking if he could do a blood transfusion on another dog that was really sick and we said yes and now about once a month they call us," says Cates.

To date Hershey has donated his blood to five dogs. While he may not be able to raise a hand, or speak up to volunteer himself, doctors say blood transfusions between animals is very similar to humans.

"We use exactly the same blood packaging systems. We buy them from distributors they look exactly alike. In Hershey's case he is so well behaved he just stands there," says Dr. Jon Todd from the Logan County Animal Clinic.

Hershey has also touched the lives of everyone he meets on job sites. Mac Yowell, Director of Warren County Public Works, is amazed how one dog can help so many.

"To do this it is very unique. Something beneficial to the animal kingdom I guess you would say," says Yowell.

The love between Hershey and Wayne Cates can be seen daily. Hershey follows Cates to just about everywhere he goes, sometimes waiting in the back of his truck for the next stop. He has become a member of the Cates family.

"He is still a dog but he is still treated highly and we think a lot of him and we take him everywhere to almost all of my job sites with me," says Cates.

For saving the lives of other dogs, brightening the day for those who meet him, we honor Hershey as this week's Hometown Hero.

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