The Cry of Hunting Dogs

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Meet Arlo. Arlo is not his real name. It was a name given to him by the rescue organization who found him, lost and alone….wandering……in a rural part of my county. It’s the time of year when hunters cull their dog packs. The old ones, the sick ones, the ones who can’t keep up anymore, well, they get thrown out. Dismissed. Thrown away from the only home they’ve ever known. To fend for themselves or die. Most die. Some get found by kindly strangers and get taken in. Some get rescued by organizations and find forever homes. Some of those die anyway because they have spent their lives so neglected and mistreated.

Arlo was a purebred Treeing Walker Coonhound. In his prime, he was, no doubt, a beauty. To me, he still was. Our local rescue asked me to be his foster mother and I agreed gladly. He was a tough case. Old. Ten years or more with more than one health issue.

i have no issue with hunting as long as it is done in a sportsmanlike way. I am not indicting all hunters as many are very kind to their dogs. Those who aren’t and who engage in animal cruelty spoil it for everyone. In my part of the world, some hunters tie their dogs out in a muddy yard to blue barrels, by chains, and starve them, thinking they will then be hungrier for the hunt. When the rescue organization found poor Arlo, he weighed 57 pounds, severely underweight for his breed. I could feel every rib and every vertebrae in his spine. He didn’t enjoy human contact. That took awhile. He did enjoy his dog food and stuffed toys and his cushy new bed.

Arlo developed severe skin lesions and hot spots. Worst of all, Arlo’s pads on his paws were almost gone. Yes, he had been hunted so hard his pads had been run right off his feet. We tried. We worked with the vet and tried to heal him. His skin got a little better but would not heal. You cannot put the pads back on a dog’s feet and his feet, and his joints, were so painful that he only walked or even stood when he had to. We all conferred and the decision was made to euthanize my precious Arlo. My husband and I had come to love him as our own. Such a beautiful and gentle hound.

When Arlo was with us, he would bay as the hounds do but in his sleep. I hope he is young, in no pain, and baying at the Rainbow Bridge right now. The cry of the hounds is a beautiful thing but not when they are crying because they are mistreated. #animalcruelty #animalabuse #hunting #kentuckyhoundsman #huntingdogs