by Betty Reid - Sept. 7, 2008 06:42 PM
The Arizona Republic
More than a dozen beagles napped, howled, played and ate at an Avondale home Sunday shortly after Arizona Beagle Rescue gave them shelter and medical attention.
Before coming to Arizona Aug. 29, the dogs had spent their time in wire cages and were neglected and abused at a Missouri puppy mill. Some dogs had damaged ears, bloody nails, painful paws and several required surgeries.
The dogs now are being care for in the home of Arizona Beagle Rescue President Dawn Wilkinson. The 10 males and 18 females are spending time in makeshift houses made of plywood under the watchful eye of beagle volunteers.
All the dogs will be placed in foster homes eventually. Beagle rescue officials, however, are looking for more foster care homes for the dogs because they would like to see one caretaker to a dog instead of one person caring for three dogs.
Lillian Stratmann, a spokesperson for Arizona Beagle Rescue said the 28 dogs received medical exams, several had surgery and some received medication.
At the Wilkinson residence, the dogs received plenty of TLC.
"They got new collars, names, each has a bed, a pillow and a toy," Stratmann said. "They are fed real food instead of sawdust, which a lot of them were fed to fill up their bellies."
Adoption will happen after the beagles are "medically cleared," said Kylie Smith, who keeps track of the beagles and their medical paper work. She expects adoption of the dogs to start later this month.
Arizona Beagle Rescue, an 8-year-old non-profit Phoenix organization, is armed with 150 volunteers. About 50 are active.
Among the volunteers are Smith and Braxton Perez, 11. They cared for the dogs Sunday afternoon.
"I played with them, I helped clean up after them," Perez said. "It's been fun."