100 Miles in a Sandstorm to Rescue Wild Hounds

Written by Mary DeForest of New Mexico  (USA)

I’d spent more than two years hunting for a Coonhound without success. Rescue groups told me that I was too old and that my disabled vet son too frail, so I gave up looking and didn’t open emails anymore.  But one morning I felt compelled to check the computer and I logged onto Petfinder where I saw hounds at a kill shelter. They had two dogs and I had to be there in a few hours.  The dogs were scheduled to be put to sleep the next day.

We drove 80 miles per hour for a hundred miles in a light sandstorm mixed with snow to the shelter that was a 100 miles away. We kept saying, “Just one, just one.”

The Shelter Staff Set the High Pressure Hose On Him

We got there just before closing time and were told that the old hounds were crazy, untrainable, psychotic and that the staff were mad at the volunteers who had posted these dogs for adoption. One staff member said that the male hound was psychotic, as he wouldn’t even move when they turned the high pressure water hose on him. My son felt so sad and just then the male hound turned to my son, stood up on his hind paws and gently placed his front paws on his shoulders and looked into his eyes.

Yes…we took both dogs home with us and soon realized they were 40 pound wild puppies. The female Coonhound Treeing Walker grew and grew for 18 months. The male Bluetick Coonhound became a powerful dog as well, a full two inches taller than her. They would stand and stare at us for hours. They didn’t know what dog food was and didn’t like it. They climbed the trees and ate fruit, dug up roots and caught wild birds, bugs and lizards.

Adapting to Our World, The Hounds Are Great Protectors

Today they’ve adapted to a world of wheelchairs, canes and walkers. They’ve stopped three break-ins on this house. One intruder was so terrified that he left his bag of stolen goods from other break-ins earlier that night where he had beaten and raped the victims.  The Walker also stopped an attempted rape of a young girl this summer in the alley behind our house.

For centuries, hounds have been honorable protectors of families, children, livestock and even crops. These dogs fear nothing.  Yet they also have a softer side.  Missy loves to stop and smell sweet flowers on our walks. Some hikers have even stopped to take photos of her enjoying the blooms.  Enjoy more photos here.

Do You Rescue Too?

The Great Animal Rescue Chase is the place where everyday heroes come to gather and share the stories and photos of the lives they’ve changed.  This week we’re hoping a few of you will post holiday stories.  Do you have a Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa time animal rescue that you’d like to share?  Just visit us here.


Related Stories:

7 Puppies Abandoned at Recycling Center

Dog Shoots Duck Hunter in Butt with Birdshot

Dog on Foreclosed Porch: Hero’s Nightfall Rescue Mission



Joanna M.
Joanna M3 years ago

I too adopted a dog under unusual circumstances...best decision I ever made! Now I advocate for others to do the same.

Please sign my petition, pledging to adopt at least one rescued dog or cat in your lifetime. So many animals need YOU to give them a second chance at life!


Michael Guest
Michael Guest4 years ago

A very interesting story.

Maggie F.
Margaret F4 years ago

I'm surprised at how uneducated the shelter staff was. Hounds are very active and these were young too!

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold4 years ago

Give a dog a little love and see what happens? Give a lot of love and understanding and you have a best friend for life. As soon as they knew how much they were wanted and loved, you saw a grand difference in behavior. Missy knows what we should all know. Take the time to smell the flowers and live a calmer and happier life.

Camilla Vaga
Camilla Vaga4 years ago


Duane B.
.4 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Mary DeForest
Mary DeForest6 years ago

It's Spring-and the apricot tree is blossoming. I looked and Missy was standing on her hind legs, smelling the blossoms on the lower limbs. Then she climbed the tree-and smelling them on the different branches. Then Stonewall took his turn climbing, and smelling-I'll probaly be lucky if I get one or two.

Nicole Pauline Sedkowski
Nicole Sedkowski6 years ago

Bless you!

Paula F.
Paula F6 years ago

Bravo, Bravo, BRAVO!!!!! Thank you for following your intuition and opening up the emails, thank you for driving so far to save lives, and thank you for listening to the dogs rather than the shelter staff...wonderful outcome for everyone!