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.
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