Hometown Heroes: Animal activist takes care of furry friends

Hometown Hero Jason Cooke advocates for animals


BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Our Hometown Hero this week is Jason Cooke, whose face should be familiar to anyone who has watched our newscast.

He was nominated by a friend for his efforts in finding animals safe, forever homes. He volunteers his time caring and advocating for those without a voice.

“Whatever I can do to help the animals in this tri-county area,” Cooke said.

He recently took that “whatever I can do to help” attitude to a new level: One that required six days in a car.

That dog, River, was rescued in the Valley early last year. River had some special needs and needed a human capable of caring for her.

The match found for her lived in Montana, so that is where Cooke took her.

“It was a three-day journey there and a three-day journey back and it was a really monumental event in my life and I still follow up with her and she is doing very well,” Cooke said.

Cooke feels recognition for his efforts should go to the folks and agencies he aids.

“The area I work in, it is not a one-person job. It takes the effort of hundreds of people that work tirelessly every day to look out for the welfare of these animals,” he said.

He said there are some bad days, like the days witnessing deplorable living conditions some animals are rescued from, but what keeps him going is the reward the animals give after they are saved.

“Once they realize that they are somewhere safe, it is like a switch. They become these loving, thankful creatures that you just don’t want to let go of and that is what I am here for and that is what I am going to continue to do,” Cooke said.

Cooke said the two dogs pictured in the attached video in the story are up for adoption. For more information, call the Canfield Boarding Kennel.

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