By: Teri Errico
For more than 20 years, Kay Hyman has been making the media rounds, promoting Charleston Animal Society and the furballs that come through their doors. One of her weekly stops is to visit with Mix 96’s 2 Girls & a Guy. The hosts have a loyal following, but they’re also avid fans themselves—of their local animal shelter and their four-legged guests.
The trio (Brooke Ryan, Tanya Brown and Mike Edwards) has a strong connection with their listeners, people who trust what they’re saying and who they support. “That’s why we live Charleston Animal Society. We don’t just have Kay on,” Brooke explains. “I adopted my cat there. Mike adopted his dogs there and always goes to Kay for questions. Tanya, even though she can’t have an animal, is the first one to step up and get together towels to donate or do the Chili Cook-Off.”
Hyman drops by the show every Thursday, after ABC News 4’s Good Morning, Charleston. From there it’s off to Kickin’ 92.5, Y102.5, 98 Rock, 105.5 The Bridge and Nash 96.9. And wherever she goes, animals continue to be rescued listener by listener. Or sometimes, but the show hosts themselves.
Years ago Brooke adopted Trace, a 3-legged cat who had come on the show, and Mike adopted two dogs, Bucket the Beagle and Roxy the Pitbull. His newest puppy was a handful, however, and he often turned to Hyman for support. Mike recalls, “Kay always had great advice, but most of it was to give it time.”
Mike also found solace in sharing his puppy problems on air. The trio were amazed how many people called in with the same issues and useful tips. “As silly as it sounds, it was just another way for us to connect to our audience,” Brooke admits.
Tanya too has found love in Hyman’s visitors—including a Pomeranian she named Jackson Montgomery after the All My Children heartthrob. Though allergies prevented her from keeping Jackson forever, she’s found other ways to help. One example is participating in the annual Chili Cook-off (coming up November 19th)—which she’s won 5 times. She’ll do anything for Charleston Animal Society, she readily admits, unless it has to do with snakes.
As a child, Tanya visited Mt. Pleasant every summer and she still vividly recalls one day when she rode a friend’s bike down her aunt’s dirt road. And fell. Next to a black snake. “I screamed and went running, running, running!” Tanya recalls, still horrified. When she and her friend went back for the bike, they found the snake had wrapped itself around the handlebars. “I didn’t come back to South Carolina until I was 17 years old!” Tanya swears. “I will forever be afraid.”
But Tanya’s heart is full for the rest of the animals Hyman brings in, as well as for the listeners who call in each week to adopt the dogs and cats, or show up at the shelter. She, Mike and Brooke are local celebrities, but they’re also local heroes for using their show as a way to save so many animals… Just maybe not the snakes.