CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A Nebraska man finished a 20-hour journey today to rescue two dogs from the Charleston Animal Society.
He met the dogs over a month ago while helping the island of Saint Croix after Hurricane Maria.
It was a 1,200 mile journey that took more than 20 hours.
"We drove all the way from Lincoln, Nebraska," Michael Henn, a Nebraska National Guardsman said. "The dogs were worth every second of that drive."
Worth the drive because these dogs are already like family to him. Henn met the dogs on the island of Saint Croix. He's a member of the National Guard sent to the island to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Maria.
"There were about 56 of us, and everybody got pretty close to the dogs," Henn said.
The group talked to a local who told them the dog's owners died just before the storm. It wasn't long after that Henn knew he had to bring them back.
"We ran into a couple of complications. We were told, 'Hey, call this place, they'll be able to help you out and get the dogs home.' We'd call them and they wouldn't be able to help us. We called a bunch of different places," Henn said.
Eventually, Henn found a way. Fast forward a few weeks to today.
"Just an overabundance of joy. I was super excited that I got the dogs and I finally got the chance to take them home back to Nebraska," Henn said.
The people who work here at the Charleston Animal Society say that they are so thankful to Henn for going so far out of his way to come and get the dogs. They say that that's something they can see a lot more of, especially around this time of year.
The animal society describes Michael as a "holiday hero" for what he's doing for these dogs. But Henn went into Saint Croix ready to be the hero and he didn't expect how much the DOGS would help him.
"Moral definitely was brought up with these dogs because every day, people—I looked forward to seeing these dogs every night," Henn said.
The Charleston Animal Society is also helping pay for some of Michael's gas and other costs to drive down to Charleston.