This year, more than 5,000 displaced pets will come through the gates of Manatee County Animal Services. Thousands more will be cared for by our county's rescues, as part of the coalition, Manatee United 4 Pets.
All of these pets are special, but every once in awhile, one of them makes an impact and wins a special place in the volunteers' hearts.
Such a dog is Huey. The first thing you'll notice about this 80-pound "bear" is that he has scars.
Scars that tell a story of cruelty and owners who amused themselves by mistreating this trusting boy.
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Huey has been branded. He has a playboy bunny, a flower and initials burnt into his fur and white regrowth covering additional scars on his neck.
Huey's dental history seems equally bleak and his few remaining teeth are brown and chipped.
The most amazing thing about Huey is not his scars nor his bad teeth. The most amazing thing about Huey is that he forgives.
He is loving and sweet to both humans and other dogs despite what he has suffered. He delights in rolling in the dirt, bounding after toys or just having his neck scratched.
Huey teaches us all about the power of forgiveness and the hope for second chances.
We hope that a special family will find room in their hearts for Huey and the other pets waiting for their forever homes.
Huey is available at the Palmetto Animal Services location. His animal ID is A067399.
Debra Starr, Animal Network