Friday, December 2, 2011

What is Silverwalk Hounds?

Silverwalk Hounds is a sanctuary - any dog who comes to me has a home for life, whether or not they are adopted. I am limited in the number of dogs I can take in by the number of rooms in my home (per the licensing law under the MO Dept. of Agriculture).

Unlike rescues who have separate spaces for the animals, my home is my space. I have one outside pen which Walter was using (note the past tense; being the resourceful Coonhound he is, he learned to slip under a weak spot in the chain link; did you know Coonhounds can collapse their ribs? Oh, yeah). Otherwise, everyone is in my house and yards/field at varying times.

I have over an acre fenced in for the dogs. I can gate off the back yard for most but some smalls and, again, Walter, slip back and forth (it amazes me to watch him do this; like Hoss, he turns into a shape-shifter). I do this to separate dogs into smaller packs as well as having some inside and others outside at differing times of the day when I am home. At night, when I work, the smalls are in the house and the bigs have the heated breezeway and the back yard: their space is lessened to help my neighbors' sleep as well as avoiding being seen from the road when I am not home.

Welcome to Silverwalk, which includes Silverwalk Hounds

Is my house a mess when I come home? Oh, yes - I work a minimum of 13 hours each shift; not many can "hold it" that long. First, I let them out, then I clean!

These dogs need homes. I know how much better they do in their own home even though they seem comfortable here. For most, living in a large pack is not normal; living with their family was!

I weep with joy each time I send one to a home - most do not look back :).


  • Dino has visited but stayed in "his"truck; his owner and he are tight as a tick.
  • Sunshine, a little dog who ran to school everyday when the bell sounded, found her child on an Easter weekend. I handed the leash to her girl, Sunshine looked up at her, they both walked to the car without a backwards glance - as it should be. 
  • Lady Bug and Taffy were scooped up by a woman who adores them both. 
  • Most of the dogs going through the prison program are adopted by people who work at the prison (Hoss, Sadie, Todd, Reagan) - Stella and Phoebe were not, yet qualified to test for their Canine Good Citizenship title. 
  • Darby went to a home 5 years ago; when I put the puppies Look Jane! and See Sally online, Darby's folks called wanting See Sally, telling me they knew whenever they got another dog she would be from Silverwalk. 
  • Mikey nka Sparky went to CO, making me an entire family of friends! Joy, his mom, initially looked at him because her son's name was Mikey. 
Joy, Mikey, me

Some never find homes here on earth - they go to our heavenly home:
Harry and a Wubba
  • Cane - whose age and arthritis caught up with him and whose guardianship I still miss. 
  • Dooz - a 15 y/o German Shepherd mix, found guarding the body of his deceased mistress, lived two more years here as one of my adopted dogs
  • Harry - whose love affair with Wubbas got him Wubbas from in and out of state. 
  • Victor - a majestic older yellow lab who succumbed to cancer; we never woke him from the anesthesia
  • Sammy - my first yellow lab who never found a home but lived here till she could barely walk - she was stoic; because of her gentle nature, I have a thing for Labs, esp. yellow. 
These are only a portion of the dogs who have been part of Silverwalk and enriched my life in a multitude of ways. Rescue is not easy, as you saw in my last entry about Phoebe.  Not all be saved, not even in a no-kill sanctuary; souls like Phoebe and Bodie are rare. They and all knew love, affection and a home sanctuary before leaving this earth. 

We who are in rescue know homes are out there for every one of our animals. It is up to us and to you to help us find the right home for the right dog. It is up to us to educate, support, teach, pass on tested theories to those who adopt, foster and volunteer. It is my pledge to work very hard at this in the New Year. It has always been a focus - getting a dog into a new home is just the start; as I hear from my adopters, keeping them there is a reward in friendship and education for us all.  

In the mission statement of Silverwalk Hounds, I want the dogs and their adopters both to be very, very happy for a very, very long time. 

Louie - a one person dog and I was it

Cane, Safe Harbor dog at Silverwalk
I wanted to let you know what happens here - we train, I work on manners/ pack integration, socialization using classes and last weekend, bringing in a pack management trainer from St. Louis; I take dogs to adoption & community events, I work online through Petfinder, and other adoption sites; I work with our local Humane Society from where Herman Miller, Taffy, Chloe PrincessĂ©, Queenie, Darling Clementine, and Louie, my heart dog RIP, came.  I have very few volunteers and one super foster home. Silverwalk Hounds is a division of Safe Harbor Animal Sanctuary where there are about 200+ cats and more dogs. 

Hounds make very good pets - they are not just for hunting any more, especially those who are here at Silverwalk. Please share our story, our links, our hounds who need homes.  And thank you!

1 comment:

  1. It is like you read my mind; I had been hoping that you would let us know a little more about your arrangements.Rescue is never easy, even when things go well. You are an amazing woman & thank you for all that you do :)