BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Have you ever had the feeling like you were simply in the right place at the right time? Well, that's exactly how four friends and co-workers felt at Team Honda on Siegen Lane recently.
It was a Sunday afternoon and Kevin Scarbro was taking pictures of the inventory on the car lot, when he and his brother Kenny heard something that sounded like a dog barking.
"The barking went on for thirty or forty minutes," Kenny explains. "I kept thinking - where is this barking coming from, ya know, 'cause we're not in a residential neighborhood. So, finally, I started trying to hunt it down, looking in our trade-ins, and finally realized it was coming from the sewer drain!"
So Kenny rounded up "the troops." He called co-worker Austin Ragusa and Brandon Regan.
"So when I came out there was no barking, so I was a little afraid of what may have happened." Brandon said, describing what he heard when he arrived on the lot. "Austin had called the fire department. They opened one drain and could see an animal inside. However they didn't want to 'hose it' for fear they'd drown the dog."
"Austin was a huge help." Brandon continued. "he blocked off everything, went and got a garden hose. Went ahead an hosed the dog in this direction. We were expecting one dog, possibly a Shih Tzu, when out came a German Shepard and a Pit Bull Lab mix; two dogs!"
The guys successfully got both dogs out of the sewer. The German Shepard immediately ran off, hopefully back to its owner. However, the Pit / Lab mix stuck around, obviously shaken but happy to be out of the drain pipe.
Now they thought there was a third dog trapped beneath the concrete. So Austin went back down in the sewer and began 'hosing' toward what he thought might be a Yorkie. But it wouldn't move.
"So finally I got down there," Brandon said, "shined a light in there and quickly realized we were trying to save a Nutria at this point! So we realized he's at home and quite happy where he's at. So we went ahead and called that rescue part off!" (Apparently the dogs had chased the Nutria from a retention pond in a field behind the dealership. The Nutria led the dogs into the underground drainage channels beneath the concrete parking lot.)
But they still had in their possession the Pit / Lab mix. They took many pictures and posted them on several lost pet websites to no avail.
Austin checked with his boss at Team Honda to see if he could take the dog to a vet to check for a microchip. Team Honda's management was fully supportive and actually agreed to pay the vet bill!
The Sherwood Forest Animal Hospital is open 24/7, so Austin took the dog there. Other than a nasty tick on its head the vet successfully removed, the dog seemed in good health. No microchip, however.
Back at the dealership, a family that saw the web pictures of the dog, wanted to adopt it – and did! So now "Harrison" has a new home and is in love with his adoptive family.
All of this got the attention of WAFB's news director Robb Hays and evening anchor Greg Meriwether who went to the dealership to volunteer any help they might be.
And Greg, no stranger to Hand It On, wanted to reward the guys for their great deeds.
"So at Channel 9 we also have this program called Hand It On," Greg explained to Kenny, Kevin, Austin, and Brandon, "where we reward volunteers for good deeds. And it's a small token of our thanks, but here's three-hundred dollars and I want you-guys to split it amongst yourselves and do something nice for yourselves."
Austin was very humble about his trenching through the underground tunnels that day, helping to rescue "man's best friend."
"Well, I just feel like I did anything that anybody that cared would have done, ya know?" Austin explained. "Anybody that had any type of conscience or moral – anything saying in their head, wherever ya know, help somebody that's in need or something that's in need or whatever. But, I mean, you just do the right thing."
No Austin, sadly not everyone would have done such an extraordinary thing. You and your friends are to be commended for your efforts and for not giving up until a positive outcome was realized.
To nominate someone for Hand It On, send an e-mail to HandItOn@wafb.com. Make sure we have your phone number!