PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Brian Shahum and his wife April were on vacation in Hawaii about 6 weeks ago when they were headed to Waimea Canyon on Kauai.
“It was supposed to be a really beautiful place for a lookout,” Brian said. Near the top, a pitbull mix stumbled onto the roadway. They noticed she had a huge gash in her stomach, so they stopped to help.
The dog “was just kind of wobbling around and just looked very sickly, and when she moved to the side you could see she had a pretty big gash in the side of of her stomach,” he told KOIN 6 News. “It was pretty horrific, to be quite honest.”
The dog had no collar or tag, which made their decision easy.
“On the way up to the Waimea Canyon we saw a humane society, so we knew we were going to take her there,” he said.
In the car, the dog was on alert — and then laid down on April and fell asleep.
“I think it was probably the first time the dog had a chance to put her guard down and relax,” Brian said.
Pearl — as the dog is now called — had surgery at the Kauai Humane Society. Brian and April were told Pearl was bred to hunt wild boar.
“There’s tons of hunting dogs they just leave to die if they get injured,” he said.”They think she was injured, they think a boar with their tusks gored her in the side and it was straight through to her stomach.”
Each year, the Kauai Humane Society takes in almost 5000 animals. They have a special program that helps West Coast vacationers adopt unwanted dogs.
The couple — who already had rescued one other dog, a dachshund named Otto — decided “one more wasn’t going to be a problem.” So Pearl hopped a flight to the Pacific Northwest.
For Brian, 38 and 31-year-old April, this was meant to be.
“She’s great for us and we know that we’re able to help her,” he said.