Thursday, July 15, 2010


This is a story about three very busy professional men whose combined random acts of kindness culminated in the rescue and survival of a beautiful juvenile male hawk.

First, I want to tell you a little about my friend, Hot Springs Village veterinarian Dr. Bob Zepecki, or "Saint Bob" as I like to think of him. I believe with all of my heart he is a modern day Saint Francis of Assisi.

Dr. Bob is one of the most compassionate people I know and he believes strongly that all creatures here on earth, both two and four legged ones, deserve a second chance. Based on this premise, Dr. Bob also believes it is up to the rest of us able bodied inhabitants to facilitate this "second chance" by whatever means we have available to us.

Dr. Bob contributes to the human population through his DAV K9 Assistance Dog Association, a program he founded and oversees that provides assistance dogs to wounded and disabled veterans. He takes care of our furry and feathered friends through his work at his Village Pet Center and Boarding Facility in Hot Springs and through his charitable work with the Animal Rehab Foundation he co-founded.

He is one of those guys who just CARES. He is always looking for a way to make things better. I guess if there ever was one person doing "God's Work", this would probably be the guy.

Now, back to my story.........

Yesterday, in the beautiful retirement community of Hot springs Village, a fireman came upon an injured, young male hawk. He could have done what most people would have probably have done........had a moment of pity for the creature, then went on about his way. But perhaps because he was a fireman and rescuing is what he does, he stopped, retrieved the bird and took him to Dr. Bob. And Dr. Bob, because of who he is and what he does, welcomed them both.

Dr. Bob examined the young hawk and felt his injuries did not appear fatal. However, he wanted a second opinion from someone who was more specialized in the area of raptors. And he knew the veterinarian he needed was Dr. John Davis in Dardanelle. After a phone conversation, Dr. Davis agreed to take the bird and assist in his rehabilitation.

When Dr. Bob called to tell me the story and ask if there was any way I could assist in getting the bird from Hot springs to Dardanelle, I couldn't say "yes" quickly enough.
Dr. Bob Zepecki and the injured young male hawk.

The young hawk was eerily calm, and seemed as curious about us as we were of him.

He seemed to e wondering what he was doing in a cage, among all of the assorted k9s, but he didn't seem at all fearful.

When the hawk and I arrived at Dr. Davis' clinic in Dardanelle, he and his staff were expecting us and took us to a room immediately. He allowed me to watch as he carefully examined the young bird. I was impressed by his extensive knowledge of the species and the gentle and respectful way he handled though he understood this was a rare and privileged experience.

Dr. Davis answered questions for me and gave me a mini-tutorial on the background of the species.
As I was leaving, he gave me this photograph of what the young male hawk will look like, once he is rehabilitated and can be released back into his natural habitat.

On my way home, I felt so very grateful that we will have one more of these beautiful creatures among us.........and all because three very busy men took the time to care.