A TV anchor asked for help paying for dog's surgery. Falcons tight end Hayden Hurst stepped up.

By Greg Hadley, The State (Columbia, S.C.) on

Published in Football

COLUMBIA, S.C. - It's been a few years since Hayden Hurst took the field for South Carolina football, but the tight end affectionately nicknamed "Garnet Thor" remains a popular figure among the Gamecock faithful.

And just a few days after Hurst made his debut with the Atlanta Falcons with a spectacular grab in Week 1 of the NFL season, he showed Columbia is still very much on his mind with a charitable gesture.

Hurst donated $3,000 on Tuesday to a GoFundMe campaign for the dog of ABC Columbia sports anchor Mike Gillespie, who said Monday that his pup Wilbur needed emergency surgery for an "intestinal blockage by a foreign substance that is threatening his life" and he and his girlfriend asked for help with the cost, setting a goal of $5,000 on their fundraising page.

Hurst, who has three dogs and has been vocal on social media about how much they mean to him, took care of most of that in one fell swoop, helping the campaign reach its goal in less than 24 hours. Another Gamecock great, Marcus Lattimore, also donated $100.

"That's the nicest thing anyone's ever done for us, @haydenrhurst," Gillespie wrote on Twitter. "I have no idea how to repay you or what we did to deserve this, but we're so thankful."


"No need! ... I know someone out there would do the same for me and my pups. God bless Mike!" Hurst replied.

Hurst and the Falcons return to the field this Sunday to play the Dallas Cowboys at 1 p.m.

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