Community News

Dennis Finds His Home At Local Fundraiser!

How did a beautiful Bluetick Coonhound end up wandering alone on a beach near Key West? He was clean, healthy, and friendly. Surely an owner was not far away and would be looking for him. Although a stray with no identification, we felt confident he wouldn’t be with us long.

But then we got our first clue why he might have been on his own. Dennis’s voice was VERY loud and persistent. Like a good hunting dog, his barks permeated the entire shelter, the parking lot, down the street, and even across the mangroves to the nearby golf course. It wasn’t only his bark that was challenging. He was powerful. At times when excited, he would jump to shoulder height and above, and bark straight into your face with a booming blast of hot air. While intimidating at first, this communication was not meant to scare or harm. H seemed desperately trying to communicate using his only communication skills. He would pull us towards cars as they’d pass, causing us to wonder if he’d been abandoned. We hoped to learn his story, but without a microchip and no one coming forward to claim him, his history was a mystery, and he became ours.

We contacted northern rescues in the hopes of finding him a home where more space would be available to him, but there were no takers. So it became our job to find this very sweet but very loud hunting dog an appropriate home in our tiny island community. When dogs are selectively bred for a job but don’t have one, both the dogs and their caretakers can pay a price. For dogs like Dennis to succeed as a family companion, he would need a home where his behavior would be understood and his needs would be met. We started saying our prayers!

Chris and Alicia saw Dennis’s picture on Facebook when he was first found. Like us, they figured a dog like him would have an owner and assumed he was reunited. Weeks later, Chris was at work where we were holding a dog wash fundraiser when he saw a familiar-looking dog. It was Dennis who was there with us looking for a home. Chris immediately called his wife who arrived to meet Dennis. They both fell in love with Dennis. They knew hounds well and all that came with them! They couldn’t believe he was available for adoption and quickly made their move to make him theirs. Dennis found everything he needed: a great family, a fenced yard, a partner to run with, AND a potential job. He may soon be on a pathway to becoming a search and rescue dog. He certainly has the nose for it. Congratulations sweet boy, and a big thank you to your new family!!