Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Hunting season's over: Help discarded beagles

For many states hunting season is over. It's a time of year many shelters and rescues dread.

See some hunters, not all, but enough, have this tradition. If the dogs won't hunt, or they are too old to hunt, or they are too old to breed hunters, they turn them loose, or turn them over to shelters.

And the shelters are full.

According to many rescues and shelters, hundreds of hounds and other hunting dogs are taken in. And it's not just in the south (though southern shelters are overrun with hounds), it happens all over.

In Maryland, a rescue took on some of the beagles rescued out of West Virginia. The shelter is known for taking hunting castoffs.

In Richmond, VA, many of the dogs in the SPCA are hounds.

And in Louisiana, rescuers are organizing convoys to get 80 beagles and hounds out of a hoarding situation and out to California. It's believed many of the hoarded dogs were rescued hunting dogs. The same rescue that's helped to organize this convoy, Priceless Pet Rescue, recently took in beagles from a hunter with dementia in California.

And my friends in Kentucky tell me that hunting season never ends, and hounds fill the shelters.

Not all hunters do this, I want it understood. The culture is changing. Most now consider their hunters more as pets than just property. Many even use trackers.

But some, especially in the South, keep 20 to 30 hounds -- beagles, foxhounds, treeing walker coonhounds -- at a time. They let them loose, if they don't come back, they don't go looking for them. If they are too old to breed, or too old to hunt, they are let loose or they surrender them to the shelters. And the same too if the dogs won't hunt -- at any age.

I'm going to post a list of shelters and rescues by state, all suggested to me by friends on Facebook.  I ask that you go to their adoption pages and just crosspost the animals that they have for adoption. Share with your friends and followers on social media -- Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Hopefully we can help get some of these hounds into better homes. Because when shelters each euthanize dozens of dogs, it grows to hundreds across the country. Hundreds of hounds that could know a better life.

And if you see a dog you want to foster or adopt, even if you don't live in their area, don't assume you can't get the dog. There are always ways.

And if you know of a shelter or rescue not listed here -- tell us in the comments below.

Beagle Rescue, Education and Welfare
Adopt A Pet.com 

North Carolina
South Carolina


  1. Thanks for posting about the hound dogs. They often are overlooked when, in reality, they are usually kid-friendly and loving pets.

    1. Please.also consider posting The London Sanctuary. We are the only all hound rescue in North Florida. We find, receive, and pull all "hunting hounds" from beagles to walker hounds to bloodhounds. We do this all.year but it is especially bad for us between Nov and February. TheLondonSanctuary.org

  2. Great info, that's so horrible it happens to such innocent creatures.

  3. Great post. So terribly sad, these dogs deserve better.

  4. Virginia has tons of hounds in shelters and rescues. I live in Northern Virginia where there isn't a lot of hunting, but dogs are brought in from Southern Virginia, West Virginia, and other southern states. Luna's rescue is Homeless Animals Rescue Team (HART) and they have many hound/hound mixes available right now (http://hart90.org/PetList.aspx?type=Dog). I have also found that Mutt Love Rescue has many (https://www.petfinder.com/pet-search?shelter_id=VA545) and I'm sure there are tons more.

  5. I think most people aren't aware of this problem. Are the shelters you listed ones in which beagles, in particular, be found? I want to be clear before I post for readers.

    1. These shelters and rescues are known to take in hunting dogs.

  6. I honestly wish they would outlaw using dogs in hunting. While I'm aware that some hunters actually care for - and about - their dogs, the sad truth is that far too many are neglected and then dumped at the end of hunting season. I have five rescued Treeing Walker Coonhounds and would have twenty more if I could. I love hounds and have had Beagles before and will again. Hounds are such wonderful dogs - loving and playful and they make great family members.

    1. It really is amazing to me. And I don't think people realize it.

  7. In Minnesota look into Second Hand Hounds and Amina Humane Society

  8. Poor little guys! Good luck! *wags* - Gilligan from WagsAhoy.com

  9. Thank you so much for posting about this; I'm one of the people who was completely unaware of how much of an issue this is. Such a ridiculous problem and so disheartening. Sharing to help spread the word.


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