Beagles For Dummies
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Many beagles are waiting patiently for new homes in breed rescue programs. Adopting a beagle from a rescue organization is a great way to find a lovable companion if you don't mind getting an adult dog. Many of these dogs are wonderful, devoted, well-trained family members who just got the short end of the bone for one reason or another and no longer have a place to go.

Beagle breed rescue is a multifaceted enterprise that aims to place homeless beagles into permanent adoptive homes. Beagle rescuers — all of whom are volunteers — look for beagles who need help at shelters and from individuals who can no longer keep them. And all too often, Beagle rescuers take in dogs that have been cruelly treated or otherwise neglected.

After the beagle enters rescue, the group assigns the dog to a temporary home, or what rescuers call a foster home. While there, the dog receives any necessary medical care and is observed, so that any deficiencies or behavioral problems can be identified. The rescue group then takes steps to deal with those issues.

As the beagle's rehabilitation progresses, the foster-care provider — with the help of other volunteers — begins to look for a permanent home for the dog. The group's aim is to find a happy ending for each rescued Beagle: placement in a loving forever home.

If you're interested in adopting an older beagle, consider contacting one of the following organizations:

  • National Beagle Club of America: The club's Web site includes a page of links to beagle rescue groups from all over the United States.

  • American Beagle Relief Network: This organization raises funds to help other nonprofit organizations that are engaged in rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming beagles.

  • Petfinder: This national online database of pets that need homes lists beagle and other breed rescue groups from coast to coast. The Petfinder site also allows you to search directly for a beagle by zip code — although most of the hits you'll get will be beagle mixes.

Like adopting through a shelter, expect to fill out a detailed application and answer a lot of personal questions. Remember rescue workers want to ensure that the dogs are going to be going to a great home. They may even want to come to your home to make sure that is suitable for a beagle.

No rescue beagles nearby? Not to worry. Some rescue groups can help you find a dog that lives outside your local area and arrange to have the animal transported to you. If you're interested in this possibility, ask the rescue coordinator about whether the group operates a "Canine Underground Railroad," or whether she can help you find out more about rescue dogs who live beyond your local area.

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Susan McCullough is the author of the bestselling Housetraining For Dummies and the award-winning Senior Dogs For Dummies.

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