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La Porte pastor saves souls and small animals

September 14, 2018 GMT

La PORTE – If you want to be a hero to your wife, try saving a small animal.

It worked for a La Porte pastor, who saved more than souls not once, but twice in the same week.

Tara and Richard Hoffman live on Monroe Street, not exactly a quiet country road.

On Aug. 21, “I opened our front door to let our dog out and saw a baby rabbit hopping across our busy street,” Tara said. “It made it safely without being hit by a car, but then I didn’t see it hop onto the sidewalk.”

Concerned about the bunny’s safety, she went to look but didn’t see it on the sidewalk or along the curb.

“Then I looked down into the rain drain along the shoulder and there it was, about 4 feet down in the drain,” she said.

Time to find a hero.

“I went and cried to my husband that we had to do something to rescue this little bunny,” Tara said.

They figured they couldn’t call the Street Department on a Sunday, and while they believed the police and/or fire departments would have helped, they figured that might cause “a lot of flak from locals about taxpayer dollars at work,” she said.

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On Monday, they were still trying to figure out how to get the rabbit out of the sewer, and the weather forecast made it more critical to act fast.

“We knew there was rain in the forecast so we knew there was little hope of the bunny surviving, especially if the rain was heavy,” Hoffman said.

Her husband, something of a handyman, “came up with a contraption to fit down between the slats of the drain with a basket to capture the bunny, Tara said. “It scared the bunny and it jumped, but right into an outgoing pipe in the side of the drain cavity where we couldn’t see or reach it.”

Not knowing what else to do, they waited and watched, and eventually the rabbit came out of the pipe.

“My husband made another contraption on the end of a pole to cover the outgoing pipe so the bunny couldn’t hop back in. The bunny was very scared, but finally it jumped into the homemade basket and we were able to rescue it through the back side of the drain,” Hoffman said.

“It cried for a little while, but we were able to set it free in the woods behind our home,” she said.

The couple has seen some small rabbits near the woods on their property line, and “we are believing one is the one we rescued,” Tara said.

As for her hero.

“I’m so grateful my wonderful husband took the time and cared for the safety of that bunny. I’m married to the best husband ever.”

Best husband ever sounds like a hard act to follow, but there was an encore.

Richard Hoffman is pastor of First Pentecostal Church on Boyd Boulevard, and the same day he rescued the rabbit, “a huge beautiful dog showed up at the church and was lying at the front door as if he lived there,” Tara said.

The dog didn’t have any tags or collar, and the mailman said he didn’t recognize it from the neighborhood.

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“As much as I wanted to keep the dog, we knew we should take it to the shelter,” Tara said. “I was worried no one would ever claim the dog so Richard promised me he would check up on the dog in a couple days to make sure the dog was claimed.”

That was on Monday, and by Wednesday, the dog had been claimed by its owner.

“We were so happy that it hadn’t been abandoned,” Tara said.

And Richard was the hero again.

“So not only does my husband have a heart for rescuing humans, he has a heart for rescuing fur babies,” Tara said.