WILLIAMSBURG — Deanna Cosby currently has 26 dogs under her care. That’s because Crosby runs Homes Fur Hounds, a non-profit animal rescue based out of her home.
Cosby has been rescuing dogs for 10 years. Relying exclusively on volunteers and donations, Homes Fur Hounds is dedicated to “rescuing and saving homeless, unwanted, abandoned, neglected, and abused small dogs”.
After moving to Williamsburg, Cosby and her husband became known in their neighborhood as “the couple from Florida who had beagles.”
“What we didn’t realize at the time was that at the end of every hunting season, hundreds of beagles and hound dogs are dumped in the woods or on the side of the road,” said Cosby, “People would find these abandoned dogs, and because the shelters were full, and they didn’t know what to do with them, they would call us asking if we could help since we had beagles. So, we would take in the dogs, give them medical care, and try to find them homes.”
It did not take long for Cosby to realize she needed assistance as more and more dogs in need showed up at her home.
“We would ask friends, people we met at the gym or around the community if they would help foster a dog,” said Cosby.
To this day, Homes Fur Hounds does not have a shelter facility. Dogs are cared for in foster homes to ensure they learn the skills they need to be successful family members when they move to their forever homes.
When Bonnie Snodgrass recently lost her beloved dog, Papi, the decision to open up her home to fostering was, at first, difficult, but is now extremely rewarding.
“I am now on foster dog number four,” said Snodgrass, “Watching these dogs transform and be given a chance at life again is worth all the effort.”
Homes Fur Hounds handles the cost of spaying/neutering, vaccination, medical examinations and microchipping of all the dogs. Cosby says the organization hosts fundraisers, receives donations and has been able to cover all costs for the dogs in their care.
The biggest need is for people willing to foster.
“The reality is, I will get up to 25 requests a day from shelters asking us to take dogs. Many tell me if the dog is not gone soon, it will be euthanized,” Cosby said, “It can be stressful to look through all the emails and pictures and determine if the dog meets our criteria and if we have a foster available. When current foster homes are full, I just begin making the plead for new people to help.”
Homes Fur Hounds also concentrates on smaller breed dogs, not just beagles.
“We just took in a Yorkie and a Pekingese,” said Cosby, “we will take dogs up to 25 pounds. It just happens that 99% of the dogs we rescue are beagles because the local hunting dogs are left behind. However, we get many super cute, sometimes purebred lapdogs that are not hounds to adopt out.”
Homes Fur Hounds has one simple goal: to find great, lifelong, loving homes for as many small dogs as possible.
Homes Fur Hounds will be holding an adoption event at Pet Supplies Plus in Lightfoot Marketplace on Saturday, Feb. 18 from noon until 2 p.m.