ONLY ON 3: Animal rescuers say hunters abandoning dogs is once again becoming an issue

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Submitted: Wed, 01/04/2012 - 10:33pm
Updated: Thu, 01/05/2012 - 5:44pm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY)– Animal Rescue groups across Brunswick County say that with the recent end of hunting season, many hunters are abandoning their hound dogs. They say these strays end up on people’s porches starving or are often times hit by cars on the road.

“Somebody in Boiling Spring Lake called me. They had an emaciated redbone hound that showed up on their porch very very sick,” says Cheri McLain, President of R.A.C.E. “She aborted two puppies. We took the puppies. The mother had to be euthanized, she was so horribly sick. Since then one of the puppies have died unfortunately.”

Rescuers say this is a problem every year in the rural areas of the county.

When we asked Brunswick County Animal Services about the problem they said it’s a non-issue and that they have only received a few calls recently about hunting dogs.

“What we find is that at the end of hunting season people do complain that dogs are abandoned or just thrown out and we don’t see any evidence of that,” said Fred Michael, Brunswick County Deputy Health Director.

Nancy Janovetz, President of Paws Place Animal Rescue, says that’s because a lot of those dogs that are found by residents go unreported.

She says over 60% of the dogs on her property are hunting hound dogs that her organization has found or had brought to them.

“(Hunters)They’ll send out ten, seven come back. You don’t know what happens to the other three,” said Janovetz. “The other thing they do is if the dog is not a good hunter, if they have a collar, they’ll take it off and they leave the dog. The dogs will stand there on the side of the road.”

Michael says these cases are few and far between, and that hunting dogs are too valuable to simply get rid of.

Rescuers say that depends on the hound.

“A good dog they’ll keep track of. Bad dogs, they’ve shot them,” said Janovetz. “They just leave them to starve. Or sometimes they dump them. We’ve had a few dumped up at the kennel.”

It is a situation that leaves many pups without a home.

Brunswick County Animal Services says when issues like this come up they are happy to address them and to try and work out the situation.


  • gina says:

    lets be honest the only thing they care about is their tracking collars because they cost so much…cause there were 4 dogs that showed up at my house and when i called the owner all he wanted was the collars and i told him if that was the case then i will throw thecollars in the trash and find the dogs a home whats fair is fair…

  • Joe Bob says:

    Please write your county commissioners and State reps and request that they ban deer hunting with dogs. These people mistreat animals and property rights… It’s a shame that these people are allowed roam free to destroy and infringe on others rights…. BAN DOG HUNTING IN NC

  • Guest hunter comment says:

    It is so fusstrating to see people want to end something that’s been apart of this states tradition for years because of a few idiots who do leave dogs because they don’t spend enough time to train let yourself down not the dog if u can’t get them to run give them to somebody who will spend time to train or to a good home..they are ones that need to punished, if people claim to see them being thrown out beside the road doing the wrong thing”do gooders” or self acclaimed “animal activists” report them, don’t bash everyone else because of a few bad eggs.its not fair to the ones following the rules an take care of our animals.ive walked in the thick woods an I respect the hard work they do for fun an my enjoyment of hearing them run.i love my dogs some people like me buy tracking systems to make sure they stay off the highway and I’ve stay all night without eating trying it catch my dogs.but tracking collars don’t save them from a ticked off still hunters bullet who get mad because don’t see a deer every time they go just needs an excuse to gripe about not seeing anything. I have dogs that are 10 yr 7yr 3 2yr 2 1yr old with all health records.

  • billghghgh says:

    For all yall that have a problem with dog deer hunting you should get your facts straight for one dog hunting is alot harder then sitting in front of a corn pile waiting for a deer you know will come eat a free meal every day and half the dogs that are “abandon” are more then likely carried off by a no good stand hunter that took the collars off and carried the dog off if they dont just shot it so as far as im concern anyone that has a problem with it can either deal with it or move somewhere else because i am carrying on a family tradition and the tradition of the first president because he was the first person to own deer dogs

  • NativeAmericanHunter says:

    I whole heartily agree with Joe Bob, running deer with dogs SHOULD be banned!!! I hunt on private land in Bertie County, NC and the land owner does NOT allow running dogs on their land. Regardless, I’ve had dogs run deer right by me countless times simply because these so called “hunters” just let the dogs run and hope they run a deer to them. That’s SLOB HUNTING and completely LAZY in my opinion. I spend hours and even days tracking deer, learning their patterns, reading their signs, and hopefully if I’m blessed and my work was complete, I will get a clear shot at that deer I’ve been following for the entire season, and yes, ONE CLEAN SHOT! I just don’t see the sport of letting dogs run while they sit and wait for them to come out then un-load their guns at them blindly hoping to connect and maybe kill it! Whatever happened to what I was taught when I was growing up and first introduced to hunting? That was that every hunt is sacred! That animal is un-willingly giving it’s life to feed our family and should be shown respect and no part wasted! NOT chased all over God’s creation running for it’s life then shot on the run till it finally falls. I’ve also read, “I use a shotgun so I can kill them faster”. That brings up another VERY important rule that I learned in my early days of hunting, “Know your target AND BEYOND”! How can you say that while your tracking that deer running at full speed, pulling the trigger over and over that your looking beyond the deer and paying attention to where every pellet or bullet is going? If you can, you must be super hunter because I know that when I’m taking aim at that deer I’ve been watching I have a hard enough time JUST controlling my heart from pounding and climbing out of my throat! Many have said, “how do you know till you try it?” or “if I didn’t have the dog, I would’ve lost the deer”. Well, all I can say is, if you made a clean and ethical shot then the deer shouldn’t need to be tracked with dogs, you would have a good, short blood trail and easy recovery! I have lost deer in the past and that was simply due to my own error from taking a shot that I shouldn’t have! I learned the hard way to let them walk if you cannot make a clean, humane kill. I’m not just talking out of my rear here, I have tried deer drives with a club one year and one year only! The only difference was that club drove with people and not with dogs but the outcome was the same. Many wounded animals, does and fawns shot when only bucks were allowed and then just pushed under a bush to rot! There’s just NO sport there and certainly NO respect or fair chase for the animal. In closing, I will simply say that any idiot can unload a gun blindly and hope to kill, but a single clean shot is MY way! “One Shot, One Kill” The Sniper’s Creed.

  • NativeAmericanHunter says:


  • pam says:

    well for one i have a couple of stray hounds that hunters have one lost or put out. What they need to do is all together is do away with dog hunting with deer..when these dogs came up on my land they were nothing but a bag of bones.and i know of hunter that dont feed their dogs before hunting season cause they say they perform better..I have posted on craigslist of these hounds that had come up.i even put flyers up and no one has come forward to claim these babies..PS this is one of the cases that never get reported but i did call the spca to see if there has been any reports of someone missing dogs…One do away with dog hunting with deer 2 start making these hunter get their dogs fixed and if they are not fixed write them a ticket and do pop up visits to make sure they are not a bag of bones.this problem is also in columbus county as well

  • chris cole says:

    I believe this to be true. The gentleman was wrong about these dogs. I had one come to my front door that was hurt and was very hungry. We took him in. we were trying to find a home for him but we fell in love with him so we kept him. Who ever let this dog go they lost a true companion. He loves everyone. Even my 4 year old granddaughter.

  • Guest keegan says:

    If you want to go hunting for birds, use a dog. For rabbits, use a dog. If the dog is lost, go to your car and leave a piece of clothing there, such as your hunting coat…he will find it and wait for you. Anyone who needs a dog (a starving one at that) to hunt deer, shouldn’t be allowed to hunt deer!
    You don’t know why I am saying this isn’t the right thing to do?
    I say….starve yourself for a week and then “sik em!”. And don’t come home without a deer!!!!!!! Cuz if you can’t get one…you no longer have a home!!!!!!
    Sound fair?
    Woof woof!

  • Guest1/5 says:

    I grew up here and I have witnessed the cruelty these dogs go through year round, not just hunting season. The lack of any compassion towards these dogs is horrid. Why dont you be a real man and hunt without using dogs to chase the deer? Sissys.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    Explain why you need dogs to hunt deer? We all know how ferocious deer can be. I have hunted deer and have never needed to use dogs…why? It’s harder because you have to cloak yourself in the environment, not have the dogs chase deer to you. Ther is no difficulty in that.

  • girlygirl says:

    People keep eay get rid of running dogs but is that really gonaa fix the problem? I’m pretty sure people that dont run dogs leave there dogs stranded too! So what do y’all want done about them people? Ive lived on boiling springs before… I’ve also found a huntin dog out there too…. I’m pretty sure she was about to die if I wouldntve rescued her. But you know what I didn’t do complain about it. I took care of her. One day her first owner came by took her home. So I realized then never to assume that they just let the dog go…. but like I said ending dog hunting is gonna do anything but piss a bunch of people off.

  • Jaime Watts says:

    I am one of these people who have personally seen the effects of the hunters leaving their dogs in the woods. I had two of them living at my house for up to 9 months because of it. I watched them the day they were walking up from the backwoods where I live in BSL. They stayed at my house, never bothered a soul. Very skinny but very sweet hearted dogs. Wouldnt let us pet them at all but were very happy living here. One of them ran off one night chasing me up the road. He ended up at the park and then eventually captured and brought to paws place. The female stayed at the house for a couple more months til we finally trapped her in a fence and then they came and got her. She is now at Paws Place. I miss those dogs for sure. Dont understand how people can treat dogs this way and its not just when the hunting season is over. It is all year round wiht them living in horrible conditions not getting fed so they will hunt better. Those dogs eat once a week. Its awful. Dog hunting should be illegalized quick. Otherwise this issue is never gonna stop. The 2 dogs that were taken to Paws Place are the dark brindle looking dogs. Long floppy ears, they have some meat on their bones now, tall hound looking. Sweetest dogs. Very stubborn but very playful and happy dogs.

  • K's opinion says:

    Let me just start by saying shame on everyone that has such narrow minded ideas about hunters, the sport of hunting and these beautiful creatures (hunting hounds). Certainly there are times when these hounds get lost and possibly never recovered, but let me tell you that I know several hunters and yes they grew up in this wonderful area (hillbillies they are not)! No matter they have tracking collars and all pertinent information on the collars and they stay until late in the night trying to track them and go back and track the next day because they want their dog back….they are loved and cared for and never miss a meal. A hunter that I know had a hard time finding one of his last hounds and finally found her and the antenna was broke off and thats why he couldn’t get a signal. These hunters love the outdoors (the hunt) deer or no deer and the sound of their dogs running and yes…even the dogs love it! You critical negative people need to see the positive in hunting and get these caring hunters off your sh*t list!! There are going to be BAD APPLES in every sport……I’m very sorry for the ones that get left behind or starved purposely but there are dogs all over this county and beyond that are mistreated every day that are not hunting dogs…….so does that mean no household should own a pet because some are abused….come on let’s get real!!!

  • GuestHappy says:

    God bless you. I’m sure he has a much better life with you than with the hunters.

  • Guest1965 says:

    I’m so tired of narrow minded, critical people who are totally clueless. I know several hunters, one of which is my husband, and they take great care of their dogs. They have tracking collars and all the pertinent information on their collars. They sometimes do get too far away from their camp but these men search all night and then go back the next day searching because they want their dogs back…they certainly don’t want anything to happen to them and sometimes it does and is very sad! These hunters love the outdoors, the hunt (deer or no deer) listening to their dogs run….and believe it or not the dogs love it! So let’s get to the real reason these holier than thou people say these things about how badly hunting dogs are treated…’s not totally about the dogs…they just don’t like hunting period. Am I right?? sure I am. Oh and these hunters that I know were raised here too and sissy’s they are not…they are real men and not dumb hillbillies like some would like to think. There will always be BAD APPLES in any sport…or in life period but you don’t judge everyone by that! So if some hunters treat their hounds bad you think all hunters shouldn’t have dogs..what sense does that make?? Do you realize how much animal cruelty there is in this county alone, much less in the country? So, does that mean no household should have a pet?? Let’s get serious. Please don’t speak out unless you’ve witnessed the good along with the bad…….

  • NewYork says:

    Real men do not hunt with dogs idiotic hillbilly.

  • Guest542254 says:

    I am a deer hunter however I do not use dogs. All to often these dogs do not come back. I still hunt and see deer dogs run through my property regularly. It is impossible for dog hunters to keep the dogs contained to their property, and then they have to trespass on other property to try and retrieve their dogs. I always allow them to try and find their dogs but I am not a fan using dogs to hunt deer for multiple reasons, with the main reasons being that they get lost, run over, and are often kept in inhumane conditions. NC is one of the few places in the US and even in the south where people still use dogs to deer hunt. It is also a more dangerous method of deer hunting.

  • Guestgeb says:

    I am an avid dog hunter and the comments shared here are certainly coming from people who don’t hunt. Very few dog hunters now turn dogs loose without tracking collars. Very few dog hunters fail to keep up with their dogs thru the coarse of a hunting day. Occasionally a dog will get into an area where the hunter cannot retrieve a hound (No Trespassing Signs) and the hunter is forced to leave the dog for next day retrieval after the dog has moved. Along with a tracking collar most hounds will have a collar with a tag that states owner, hunt club and phone number. Dogs do stray off leased or owned hunting property at times as they cannot read signs but rarely cause damage to property. As to the physical condition most hounds are found in, some hunters keep their dogs lean for speed and drive reasons, my dogs have food and water available 24/7. As far as safety, the leading cause of hunters being killed or injured is falling out of tree stands. All dog hunters are not beer drinking, animal abusing and abandoning, road hogging thugs, just a few of them are, which is the case in any classification of people enjoying any sport anywhere.

  • BrunsCo Hunter says:

    Scott and Cliff….

    Watched the report about lost or abandoned hounds and it’s probably one of the biased, one sided stories I have ever seen.
    I own several hounds myself and take better care of them than most people do their children. I have lost several hounds in the past few years, the hounds that I have lost all had I.D. collars, GPS Tracking Collars and Wildlife Tracking Collars. The problem is people from more “northern” states think that hunting deer with hounds is in-humane so they blow their horn as they pass you on the roadside, swerve at you as they go past, flip you off, and if they catch your hound remove their collars (a misdemeanor offense in NC) and turn them over to a animal rescue agency, which in instances like Paws Place in Boilings Spring Lakes, will not let you adopt a dog unless every dog in the household is fixed and can’t breed. This even includes World Champion bird, fox, raccoon and bear hounds…if they aren’t fixed then you are a bad dog owner. So what happens?? They sit in cages for years on end @ facilities like Paws Place. Sure there are bad hound owners but the major problem in this area is ignorance and people that think the hounds do not enjoy what they do. We love our hounds and the time that we get to spend with them in the field.

  • Guest1214 says:

    There has been an injured hound dog running loose on Blue Clay Rd near The Rock church for at least the last 2 days. He is carrying a back leg. Has a hunting collar on. He is very timmid and won’t come to me.

  • Mee mee says:

    Well to those who don’t think this is a problem, uhhhh, open your eyes? I own a Bluetick Coonhound and a Bluetick Beagle for this exact reason.

  • realitydweller says:

    love hunting. love dogs. dog hunters need to face the facts that dog hunting was not meant to be the way its done now. just 20-30 years ago this was an honored tradition where the dogs & game were treated honorably. most dog hunters now are simply the most sloppy & cavalier group i’ve ever seen. “Michael” is completely inaccurate thinking that these dogs are too valuable. virtually no time is spent with these animals. they’re bred with low standards. then they’re trained briefly with shock collars, thats it. admit it, embrace the truth. raise your standards & the standards of your fellow hunters. take care of these dogs, they’re are many of us in the hunting community that would like to see you guys charged with animal cruelty at this point.

  • Guest123456789 says:

    The hillbillies on the Board won’t do anything about it because most of them are “hunters”.

    Fred: All you have to do is drive up and down Hwy 17 at the end of hunting season and look at all the dog roadkill versus any other time of the year then tell me there is no hunting dog problem.

    Bottom line is, real men hunt without dogs. Mano y Mano. Man against Nature. Wussies need dogs to hunt…

  • Lab lover says:

    I can’t understand Brunswick County Animal Services position on tis problem. Since moving here in September of 2005 I have noticed many abandoned or lost hound dogs alongside our road ways. It was very obvious to me that these dogs were left behind by hunters who keep packs in a cage set in the bed of their pickup trucks. I’ve done a lot of hunting myself but never used dogs unless I was bird hunting; and then I used Labrador bird dogs. I know they send the pack into the woods on one side to stir up and get deer and hogs on the run to the other side where the hunters are waiting. It’s a shame these dogs are neglected. I wonder whatever happened to the old fasion way of tracking; and sitting in tree stands waiting for the game to cross. If people are going to run dogs they should put electronic collars on them so they can be located and brought home with the rest of the pack. For those that deliberatly leave dogs behind; shame on you! The Bible is clear on how man should treat animals; from Genesis through Jesus’ ministry. In fact; In Jonah 4:11 God clearly shows his concern for animals when he admonishes Jonah for his lack of concern over the inhabitants of Nineveh, “not to mention the many cattle?” God will punish those that mistreat animals!

  • -A- says:

    While I am not a hunter, I have several friends and coworkers who are. They will even admit themselves if the dog is no good, they will leave it in the woods. I used to live near Riegelwood where there is a lot of hunting land. Dogs always strayed up to my back yard and even the few that had tags, when I called the owner said he didn’t care what I did with it, he didn’t want that “sorry *ss” dog. I believe that the Animal Services in Brunswick county probably as a whole does a very good job, Brunswick County Animal Services comment saying “the problem they said it’s a non-issue” is not accurate. Anyone living in rural NC can see this is a problem and should be dealt with. It is inhumane and very sad.

  • kloveless2010 says:

    Not only do people who own a lot of hunting dogs treat them poorly and purposely leave them behind when they are not good hunters, but in NC hunting dogs are exempt from most of the animal welfare laws that apply to non-hunting dogs. The hunt clubs and National Rifle Association (NRA) fight hard to make sure hunting dogs are exempt from any animal welfare bill before it becomes law. These poor dogs should have the same basic laws as the rest of the dogs in this state, but sadly that is not the case.

    Karen Loveless
    NC Voters for Animal Welfare Board

  • speakthetruth says:

    in complete agreement. But the NRA is definitely not involved in animal cruelty. No way, no shape, no how. You’re spinning propaganda. If you go to the legislature in Raleigh you’ll notice that animal welfare laws are often riddled with other outrageous anti-gun & anti-bath soap tag-along laws. So you’re correct that a few (not all) hunt clubs are against animal welfare laws for dogs, but many NRA members are very informed & also dog lovers (got lots that are just lap buds & we donate to shelters). Stay on topic.

  • Guest7969 says:

    like a TRUE LIBERAL…knee jerk reaction, spinning lies and making untrue generalizations. Since it is apparent that you have lied while representing your organization…I assume everything you say is a lie.

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