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The C.A.S.H. Courier

ARTICLE from the Winter 2008 Issue

Animals No Longer Useful to Hunters Are Cruelly Abandoned

In our last issue of the Courier, C.A.S.H. focused on hunting with dogs. As we’re continuing to write about this, we are grateful to our longtime member, Richard Firth, for sending us the article below.

 Extracted from an article by Janet Caggiano of the Times Dispatch:

Every January, a week or so after deer-hunting season ends, beagles and tri-colored hounds show up at landfills scrounging for food. They rummage through backyard trash cans hoping to find a morsel.

 ”It’s heartbreaking,” said Mark Counts, animal-control officer for Kings and Queens County.

The evidence shows that most of these lost canines were once hunting dogs, abandoned by their owners because they no longer serve a purpose — too old, too slow, or unwilling to hunt.

Although some hunting dogs are pampered as long as they earn their keep, others are not so lucky.

In rural counties across the region, animal shelters are taking in dozens of these throw-away purebreds and mixes. Since deer-hunting season kicked into high gear in November, Counts has picked up 35.   “I wish this didn’t happen at all,” said Bradley McGehee, chief animal-control officer for Louisa County. “But the sad reality is, if a dog doesn’t perform, [hunters] will abandon it. It’s cheaper for them to buy a new one next fall than feed this one all winter.”

The Louisa shelter took in 70 dogs in January. Twenty-two were abandoned hunting dogs, known by the telltale signs — breed, collar marks, a skinny frame or perhaps a tattoo. Most of the beagles and hounds are older, but some are young pups afraid of loud noises such as gunfire.

“No one comes looking for them,” said Sgt. Kevin Kilgore, chief of animal control in Hanover County. “We just find them walking down the middle of the road.”

“These dogs are viewed as disposable, but they make the most loyal and loving pets,” said Linda Wickham, who founded Hickory Hill two years ago. “The ones that don’t want to hunt are so grateful to find a new home.”

Let’s hear it for adopting a dog who’s an anti-hunter!

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