In the Beginning
Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland sprang to life on April 9, 2001. Believe it or not, it was not the love of beagles, but the abundance of thrown away beagles that inspired the creation of the rescue. The shelters were just full of them. Mara, our founder was appalled. For over a year she thought about and planned for a beagle rescue. At great personal expense, she sold her house in the burbs and bought a home where the neighbors weren't so close. She hired a lawyer to incorporate the rescue and a CPA to work through the 501c3 status. She had the modest goal of saving 10 beagles a year from dying in the shelter. (Since she was the entire rescue, it is only modest in retrospect.)
On April 9, 2001 Mara was at work when she got a call from the local shelter. They had 8 beagle and beagle mixes who were scheduled for euthanization. "Let me get back to you," she said and frantically enlisted the help of two other rescues who agreed to take on three of the eight. Those eight beagles were the first to be rescued under the name of the not quite incorporated Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland. In the meantime, the other two rescues backed out. Mara went home with all eight dogs, some unsocialized, none housebroken, and one pregnant beagle/basset she named Lena. She had no website to advertise them and had not had time to set up an account on Petfinder. There was no PayPal to solicit donations. What had she done????
It was a dark and stormy night - literally and figuratively. At 3:00 a.m. one of Mara's personal dogs frantically began to bark. Yes, Lena had begun to deliver the first of six puppies. Mara sat on the floor of her laundry room and cried.
Miraculously they all lived through it. That week we were officially incorporated. She put up a website and posted to Petfinder. There were no donations then. All of the dogs were vetted, spayed, neutered, and two were treated for heartworm, all on her dime. All found good homes.
It was hard those first two years, but good folks have come along to help. Some have been with us for many years. New volunteers have come offering new ideas and new talents. Rescue work is hard. It is heartbreaking. It is vastly rewarding. Rescue work separates the weak from the strong.
As of April, 2016, we've rescued over 1750 beagles, near beagles, and one or two dogs that never met a beagle. If you look at our list of rescued dogs it is mind-boggling to think that every one of them had to be picked up from the shelter, transported, vetted, photographed, posted, fostered, fed, loved, kept on flea/tick/heartworm prevention, and given a crash course in House Manners 101. We've returned thousands of phone calls and thousands of e-mails. Most of us work full time. Many of our fosters pay vet bills out of pocket because the rescue never seems to have enough money. We are so grateful for the generosity of the public and our volunteers. If you'd like to volunteer, come on! Mostly we need foster homes. If you're in the area of one of our adoption events, come help handle dogs. Perhaps you can help transport dogs from Point A to Point B. You could share our foster pleas on Facebook. You can donate money to help keep us afloat. Our vet bills are huge, totaling several thousand dollars a month. We can ALWAYS use money! Come along with us and help us have another great 15 years!