SOMERSET, Ky. (LEX 18) — A Pulaski County family is remembering their 12 year-old boy who died in a house fire trying to save his dog.
"He was the highlight to our lives. He was the sunshine to everything. He really was," said Ashley Wesley, Hunter's mother.
Hunter Wesley would be turning 13 this week.
His mother says every day since his death in January has been a challenge, but this weekend it hurts a little worse.
"This is my first birthday without him. So I was just trying to do something that was just as special as he was to me," said Ashley.
That something special was honoring Hunter's love for animals, especially dogs.
On Saturday, the family threw a birthday party in his memory, collecting money and other donations for the Pulaski County Animal Shelter.
Hunter died in a house fire when he went back into the flames to try to save the family's dog, Pugley.
"It takes a lot for somebody to go back in for their dog, and he did. It's just kind of a healing process to do something in memory of him because it's really hard him not being here. But to do something animal-related because that's what he loved, we just had to," said Ashley.
While he physically may be gone, Hunter's spirit is still very much alive.