Hilary Hunt has always had a soft spot in her heart for dogs. The local news personality actually had aspirations of becoming a veterinarian before a different path led her to KARK-TV, the NBC affiliate in Little Rock. But those original passions found a way of resurfacing when she was in the middle of her first media job; while filming a segment, she encountered a stray dog.
“I was going to take her to the shelter, but the shelter at the time was super overcrowded,” she says. “They were a kill shelter. So I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to keep her.’”
That hound without a home or surname became Sadie Hunt, and this seed would sprout into something even bigger than either of the two Hunt gals.
“Every day I woke up and saw Sadie and [thought], “There are so many dogs out there that don’t have homes,” she says. “‘What’s a way for me to use the position I’m currently in to do something good for animals?’”
She convinced her boss to let her run with the idea that had been festering, and the series now known as Hilary’s Hounds was born.
Whichever Central Arkansas city Hunt is filming in becomes ground zero for her weekly sales pitch — be it Little Rock, Mayflower, Lonoke, Maumelle, and so on. She goes to a local shelter, picks out a dog (usually an older one), and films a segment featuring the pooch while she tells the viewers its story.
It’s essentially a side gig that she is able to accomplish in addition to her “day job,” but the results have made it more fulfilling than she might have ever imagined. Since she created Hilary’s Hounds around one year ago, she has successfully marketed the adoption of nearly 100 dogs.
“This is just a way to get the dogs that may not be seen out to the public,” Hunt says.
Like many of the shelters she loves to help, COVID-19 has taken a bite out of the adoption world and Hilary’s Hounds, as the series has been on a temporary hiatus. But it will be back very soon, and Hunt is as ready as ever to get back to finding forever homes for Arkansas’ adorable canines.
For more information, visit www.kark.com/hilarys-hounds.
Sponsored by Arkansas Pet Resort and Chenal Pet Palace