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Ziggy Beagle Rescue

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Beagle Info

After years of rescuing all breeds of dogs, "Ziggy Beagle Rescue" was started in 1994 in memory of my first beagle, 'Ziggy', who died of cancer at the age of six.

The following is an excerpt from an article that cites how Carol came to start Ziggy Beagle Rescue

Published on December 26, 2001, Vero Beach Press Journal (FL).

TO THE RESCUE
LETTING THE DOGS OUT LET ANOTHER ONE IN.

December 26,2001

By Elliott Jones
staff writer

Puppies to aging dogs are adoptable, to the right home, through rescue groups specializing in certain breeds.

When Carol's husband allowed their five dogs out of their rural hilltop home in Tennessee at 5 a.m., the animals converged around a car and barked.

Something was underneath the vehicle.

When he peered under, there was only a lone beagle puppy there.

He picked up the 8-week-old dog and brought it to the house, saying, "We got another one," she recalled her husband saying at the time years ago.

It had happened before. People dropped off unwanted dogs and drove off leaving the animals standing there.

The couple guessed that is what happened to the beagle. By the time they found it, it was emotionally dilapidated and peppered with ticks from the woods on their 10 acres.

But they took the animal in. "Dogs don't hold things against you," said 59-year-old Carol, who now lives in Palm Bay. She grew up wanting a puppy. Her mother refused, saying she didn't want her daughter to go through the heartbreak she experienced as a child when a beloved dog died.

Carol's father also was protective. He didn't let her have a bicycle because he was hurt riding one as a child.

Now Carol is sheltering. The woman lavishes her maternalism on unwanted beagles from Florida and some nearby states. Along the bedroom wall in her home in southern Brevard County, there are 12 sets of pillows and blankets for 12 dogs.

In other rooms are plastic sleeping cages for her other beagles: all too aged or ill to be pets in other people's homes. More than a dozen of the animals are her permanent passengers, with nowhere to go, in a house that is a train station for moving unwanted beagles to places that want them.

As a volunteer, Carol runs her own Ziggy Beagle Rescue, an informal organization that uses the Internet, the phone and word of mouth to find adoptive homes for unwanted pet beagles. Outwardly, beagles are cute. Inwardly, they can be stubborn, much to the chagrin of their new owners.

For that reason they are among the breeds of dogs that are most frequently given up or abused, Carol said. Beagles aren't alone.

Carol's beagle rescue group is among a long list of low-key, volunteer citizens groups devoted to finding new homes for unwanted dogs. There are rescue groups specializing in everything from Australian cattle dogs to Yorkshire terriers.

"We never really get our expenses paid," Carol said.

Rescue group members themselves are a special breed of people. Through the Internet they make travel arrangements to move dogs from one place to another. One volunteer driver might take a dog from Jacksonville to Daytona Beach. Then another driver would take it from Daytona Beach to Ziggy Beagle Rescue.

Carol's house, yard and life are largely devoted to dogs. She also cares for her disabled husband who suffers from emphysema.

Her children are grown and have their own children.

"I do this by myself," she said of all the dogs around her. "I am constantly providing food, bathing dogs, cleaning ears and clipping toenails" or saying goodnight to the dogs who nestle onto the blankets on the floor by her bed. Feeding time takes priority over phone calls.

Her first beagle named Ziggy was the one found under the car. "Every time I came home I heard the dogs barking and Ziggy's lone howl." He died of cancer at age 6. "We were devastated," she said. Her current rescue group Ziggy Beagle Rescue is named in his honor.

She moved to Palm Bay from Tennessee in 1992 and in 1993 she found a beagle at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Titusville.

Then she and her husband couldn't stay away from the Melbourne Humane Society. "Every once in a while there was a beagle there," she said.

"People got wind of our liking beagles and taking them in," she said. By 1994 she had her own beagle rescue group. Now she is one of two beagle rescue groups in Florida. The other is in the Tampa area.

So she is contacted by Internet and phone from a wide-ranging area. "Internet brings everything closer," she said. "I have gotten one dog from Georgia, two from West Virginia and three from Kentucky."

Many get passed on to new adoptive owners. Still, "some dogs are very old or very ill. Someone was going to put them to sleep. I took them in," creating her own resident pack of dogs ranging in age from 3 to 14 years. A beagle' s life expectancy is about 18 years.

One beagle has a humped back possibly from being kicked. Her beagle Missy is undergoing chemotherapy. A woman in Nebraska is paying for the therapy. Because of space and city zoning laws, Carol can only take in so many dogs. When she runs out of space, she puts dogs in temporary foster homes. Currently, she has 11 dogs temporarily housed in three other homes in Brevard County.

One of the latest is a puppy beagle from a Humane Society shelter in Daytona Beach. "They sent me a picture of a poor little beagle seven months old," she said. "He was shy and scared."

So she called around and got him into one of her temporary foster homes in Brevard County. Dogs stay in the foster homes until she can find someone to adopt the animals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in Orlando sometimes adopts one of her beagles for sniffing out fruits, vegetables and meat illegally smuggled into the United States through airports.

"If I took in all the dogs that were offered, I would have hundreds of them," she said. "I have people calling begging me to help" take a dog so it can be offered for adoption, she said.

If she could get on a soap box, she would tell the public to make sure they spay or neuter their pets so more dogs don't end up unwanted. "People need to wake up and stop living in a shell. They need to realize what is going on around them."

For her, that reality sleeps on the floor next to her every night.

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