Basset puppies are New Year's gift

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 13, 2012

It was Tuesday, Dec. 20 when Carolina Basset Hound Rescue (CBHR) received a call from the Forsyth County Animal Shelter manager about a pregnant basset hound.The dog’s state-mandated 72-hour hold had run out, with no owner stepping forward to claim her. The basset’s last hope for a second chance was to find a rescue. Fortunately, CBHR rose to the occasion.
After receiving the shelter’s phone call, a network of volunteers throughout North and South Carolina rallied to their computers and phones to set a process into motion. The designated shelter duty volunteer for the week obtained photos and detailed information about the dog, including estimated age, behavior and temperament, and sent the information and pictures out to the organization’s officers for consideration.
When the pregnant basset hound was voted in to rescue, more volunteers stepped up to the plate for the jobs that came next: pulling the dog from the shelter, carrying her to the vet for an exam and vaccines, and locating and transporting her to a foster home. The process required a great deal of communication, coordination, and creativity between more than a dozen volunteers to create a smooth transition for the dog from shelter to foster home. It also called for financial resources – some donated directly to CBHR, some given in kind by volunteers, as well as the adjusting of personal schedules on short notice to pull off a seamless rescue. It was no small feat, and this scenario is typical of the work that goes on behind the scenes each time a dog is taken from a shelter into rescue. CBHR conducted 123 rescues last year alone.
I agreed to foster this basset hound, which I named Merrybelle.
I’m a long-time foster parent with CBHR, and also the North Carolina medical coordinator with the group.
A trip to the vet had confirmed that Merrybelle was pregnant with seven puppies, and was due any day.
I thought we would have them on Christmas, but the day came and went, with no sign of the pups. I joked that she was waiting for the New Year’s ball to drop.
Sure enough, it was New Year’s Eve when the first pup made its debut at 11:30 pm. The other six arrived between midnight and daylight on January 1st. I stayed awake all night to assist Merrybell through the delivery of one male and six female puppies.
I don’t think I’ll ever have another New Years that can top this one.
Like all of CBHR’s adoptable hounds, Merrybelle and her pups will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated and microchipped prior to being available for adoption. Until then, I’ll make sure they’re cared for and socialized in a home environment.
Volunteer foster parents like me learn about the dogs’ personalities and quirks, all of which goes a long way in helping a prospective adopter make good decisions about adding a basset to their family.
Merrybelle and her pups will be available for adoption in the spring of 2012. In the meantime, more than 60 other basset hounds are in need of loving homes. To see the adoptable bassets, learn more about fostering or adopting a rescued hound, or donate to the cost of Merrybelle and her pups’ care, visit CBHR can also be contacted by phone: 919-708-4247.