As people will be aware, little Lenny was adopted from Cyprus Beagles. Now he is well and truly esconced in the house with his paws firmly under the table, we thought it would be a nice idea to try and find out some more about Cyprus Beagles. As he is the main recipient of the kindness and love of the ladies at Cyprus Beagles, I am going to let him loose on the blog, so over to you Lenny.
Hello again friends, I am honoured to be asked to do a blog on Dexter’s behalf. He asked me what I would be interested in finding out and I, of course, said the lovely people who rescued me.
There are two ladies who organise the rescue of Beagles from Cyprus. Erin Scott (ES) in Cyprus and Joanne Mason (JM) in the UK. I am proud to ask the questions Lenny Beagle (LB).
My first question was “When did it all start?“
(JM) In July 2013 my mum posted a picture on Facebook of a lovely Beagle that was in danger of being PTS she simply wrote “number 5” as we already had 3 Beagles and a Sausage! I managed to get in contact with Erin who was the author of the Facebook post. I told her we were going to be out on holiday and would like to help if welcome. It turns out Erin knew my mum as she used the vet clinic Erin works at. We arranged to meet and Wilson became our first foster. He arrived in the UK on 17th September 2013. I didn’t keep Wilson, he was rehomed. I know where all our dogs are and I’m in touch with all but one.
My love for the breed started in May 2011 when I got my first Beagle puppy (Mabel), having done no research and quickly developed a love for the breed. The rest as they say is history. Hank quickly followed Mabel in Februry 2012 as a 6 month old pup that had already had 2 homes.
Fostering isn’t always easy on the heart, each and everyone holds a very special place in my heart. Some you bond with more than others, for instance one thing I’ve learned is that if you let them sleep on your bed, you’re done for. Some of these hounds have been through so much and have every reason not to trust a human ever again. Yet they love and trust us. It’s an absolute privilege to be the UK part of Cyprus Beagles.
(ES) I started working as a vet nurse in Cyprus in 2008. I saw many cases of abuse and neglect, particularly for the hunting dogs here. However it also made me realise what amazing characters they have. I adopted my first rescue Pointer mix, but sadly he was poisoned (a fairly common occurrence here) a year later. I then adopted another, and feeling that she needed a friend, I decided to adopt a buddy for her. Having dealt with Beagles in my job, I started looking for one, and along came Jeremy Beagle. It was then that my love for Beagles began. Thereafter I went on to foster a few dogs for other rescue groups, and also created a Facebook page to share the many posts of Beagles needing homes in Cyprus. I rehomed 2 Beagles in Cyprus, prior to meeting Jo. Wilson came along, I met Jo, and Cyprus Beagles came about. In the beginning it was a learning curve, ensuring that we were doing everything correctly in terms of travel, preparing our dogs and making sure they were as healthy as possible. For example, even though blood testing is not a legal requirement we still do it. There was never a question of cutting corners or not doing things properly. We also had to find a way to fund our venture but still make it an affordable option for UK adopters. We are extremely lucky to have the support we do now, but in the beginning it was sometimes touch-and-go whether we would have the funds necessary.
(LB) Thank you for the extensive responses, I have a question on the airlines that carry the beagles to the UK. It sounds a little strange, but was there any problems with arranging the transport? Was it fairly straightforward thanks to the “connection” between Cyprus and the UK?
(JM) No problems whatsoever. The staff at the ARC’s (Animal Reception Centres) at Gatwick and Heathrow are fantastic. They care passionately about the dogs, they are always let out of their crates, allowed to go to the toilet and clean bedding etc is put in their crates before they are released to their owners or consignee. I know most of the staff by name and they know me which helps to build a good relationship.
(ES) Flights are always booked through our fabulous flight coordinator. That way we get group booking/rescue rates. I can only imagine the work and juggling involved for her especially, recently, with airlines going bust and others imposing new rules at the last minute. Check-in here usually goes OK from our side of things, with most of the staff quite interested in all these dogs turning up.
(LB) How many beagles have you rescued and re-homed to the UK?
(ES) The numbers are high, but there are always more beagles waiting. So far we’ve re-homed 56 Beagles, and one very special Jura Hound. If you include those that never left me it’s another 4, plus Snoop, who we sadly had to have put to sleep here because of his medical issues. Currently I have 2 fosters here in Cyprus, being 1 hound and 1 Beagle. So altogether it’s 64 dogs rescued under Cyprus Beagles.
(LB) Apart from being in love with the breed (who can blame you!), is there any other reason for focusing on Beagles?
(ES) A reason to be a breed-specific rescue is for the sake of my sanity. The number of stray, abandoned and abused dogs here in Cyprus is prohibitive. I had to find a way to limit our focus, as it was driving me slightly crazy not being able to save every dog. We still can’t help every needy Beagle that we are informed of, but we try and help those most in need or in danger.
(LB) If you could change something, what would it be? For instance, do you think the authorities in Cyprus do enough to protect the beagles on the island?
(ES) Cyprus needs to enforce its existing law on microchipping and registration, and be much tougher on those flouting the law. The permissable ‘standards’ for how to keep a dog should be raised, especially for hunters dogs. It’s common to see metal cages in the middle of the fields, housing 1 or many dogs. The cages are often full of poop and only a bucket of green water for drinking. The dogs are mostly only taken out to hunt. Pet dogs are often kept on chains in yards. There needs to be a positive drive for neutering. Every day I’m aware of a Beagle in need and it makes me upset. Those that obviously have Leishmania (*see footer note*) we just cannot take on, as the chances of rehoming are very small, and the potential expenses very big. I can only keep so many myself and those I have already have problems, which cost me a fortune! Thankfully we had space to take on Bosley, knowing full well that he was a serious case, but it seems that Watson is not a rehoming prospect either, which leaves me with 5 permanent dogs.
(LB) Do you think that any changes will actually be undertaken to alleviate the suffering and subsequent re-homing of the Beagles?
(ES) I don’t think the authorities will be making any positive changes soon. There have been rumours of new legislation but it actually doesn’t address the major issues.
(LB) Finally, what do you think would be the most help to you, outside of additional donations and funds.
(ES) What would help us most? This is a tricky question really. As we are, with Jo and myself doing what we do, we are limited as to the number of dogs we can help. However this keeps it more personal and I really see the two of us and our adopters and of course the Beagles as a big Cyprus Beagles family. If we had more people to foster, in Cyprus and the UK, we could potentially rehome more dogs. But I’m not sure we would be as successful.
(JM) I totally agree with Erin on what would help us. Because we are so small we can have a much more personal relationship with our adopters. They really are like family to us. A lot of the Beagles come back to me to board when their new mums and dads are on holiday. As such I truly believe we are as successful as we are, because we are so small, and we are extremely lucky to have a very lovely group of supporters.
(LB) So it’s a case of having more people to give homes to Beagles like me then? That’s more than reasonable. One final, final question. You mentioned two of the Beagles who couldn’t be homed here in the UK, can you let us know a little more about them?
(ES) BOSLEY. At the end of November 2017 I was tagged in a post for a very sick little Beagle. I knew straight away from the pictures that he had leishmania. I also knew we had to help him. He captured people’s hearts and due to the amazing donations that our supporters sent we were able to give him the best treatment possible. Bosley pulled through but has been left with limited vision. He has also had a couple of seizures. Leishmania is a lifelong disease so he will most likely be on medication for the rest of his life. But he is the most Beagly, stubborn, greedy little boy there is, and he lives his life to the fullest!
WATSON. Watson was an inmate at a local pound. No-one claimed him, so he came to us. His nose was cause for concern, and after a lot of investigation we found out he has lupus, an autoimmune disease. It’s a constant battle to keep on top of his nose problem; currently he’s on a grain-free diet and two kinds of supplements, as well as steroids. We’ve also fixed one ruptured cruciate ligament, with the second one to be done also, but it’s a balancing act with his treatment protocol right now. Watson is a strange little Beagle, but his zest for food and walks is second to none.
(LB) Ladies, thank you for giving us a better insight into how you do the rescues, why you do them (of course its obvious) and that you will continue to do them. And from a personal point of view, thank you for rescuing me. I am now in my forever home with my brother and parents with whom I am happy and contented. Without your efforts, I would be probably still be a street dog and I much prefer my life now.
If you would like to find out more about Cyprus Beagles, please visit their Facebook page and contact the ladies directly. I am sure they will be glad to hear from more prospective adopters for Beagles like me who need a new home with love and tickles. And food.
*Leishmania* is due to protozoan parasites from the Leishmania species. You get leishmaniasis from being bitten by an infected sand fly. The parasite lives and multiplies inside the female sand fly. This insect is most active in humid environments during the warmer months and at night, from dusk to dawn. Symptoms can include Skin lesions – particularly near the head and pressure points, Lymphadenopathy – Swollen lymph nodes, Enlarged spleen, Weight loss, Fever, Abnormal nails, Epitaxis Renal disease symptoms, Anaemia