PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Stray beagles are popping up on street corners across the state. It is a trend rescue groups report is synonymous with the close of hunting season. An organization in Prairieville is taking the dogs in and getting them ready for new homes.
Cindy Peterson has an undeniable love for Beagles. She has got a pack of more than 20 in her back yard.
Peterson, owner of Hokie's Hounds, rescued all of them. Her organization is named after her dear Beagle, Hokie, who passed away nearly 20 years ago. She has been fostering Beagles ever since.
"They are very loveable, very affectionate, very loyal, and there's just something about those eyes," Peterson said.
Beagles are also fast, smart and when they smell something their trained to chase, there is no stopping them. It is why the breed is sought after by hunters.
While some of them take care of their four-legged partners year-round, Peterson said some of the dogs stray from their pack. Sometimes, she said, hunters use and abandoned them.
"Unfortunately, some of them have told me they are not worth feeding them for another year," Peterson said.
Peterson has gotten calls from people across the state asking her and volunteers to come to their rescue. Peterson said, a lot of the dogs they find have filed teeth, docked tails, and are covered in fleas. Many of them, she said, are heartworm positive and desperate.
"We take them in, assess the situation. Sometimes we get surprises," Peterson said.
All of the dogs are checked by a veterinarian and treated until they are well enough to be put up for adoption.
On Wednesday, Peterson took Beagles, Buck and Neil, for a checkup at All Pets Hospital.
"Alright. Let's take a look. Do we know how old buck is," Meena Braden, DVM, asked.
Dr. Braden noticed Buck's teeth are worn, as are his legs and backside.
"There's these areas of thickened pigmented skin with hair almost like a callus, as if he's sitting on hard surfaces," Braden said.
Buck is social. Dr. Braden said a lot of the rescues she sees are clearly in need of more than just medicine.
"They're not quite sure how to handle being touched and picked up," Braden said.
That is where Hokie's Hounds comes in. Peterson makes them part of her family until she can help them find one of their own, and she's got quite a track record.
"In February, we crossed off our 400th adoption," Peterson said.
Hokie's Hounds is a volunteer group. They depend on public donations.
You can find them on Facebook under Hokie's Hounds.