Fall at the Frederick County Division of Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center includes falling leaves, cooler temperatures and pending holidays. It also typically includes a higher-than-usual number of beagles. This year is no different. We currently have six beagles looking to be adopted.

As you compare open-admission shelters across the country, you notice some breeds show up more frequently in shelters based on geographic location. Beagles are one of the most frequently seen breeds at the Frederick County Animal Shelter. We’ve unofficially decided it’s because of one of two things. The first thought is that beagles that end up at the shelter are diligent in their hunting tasks, and losing their owners is a consequence of that diligence. Possibly, though, shelter beagles end up with us because they are sidetracked in their hunt for the small, furry animal they started after in the first place. Either way, we often have a number of beagles looking for homes at any given time.

In general, beagles have reliably sweet dispositions. They are resilient in spirit and aren’t predisposed to any significant health issues. The down side of beagles can lie in their instinct if you are unprepared for how their genes are programmed. You can’t change the fact that they have tracking in their blood. Once they catch a scent of something, whether a squirrel traveling in the fall, or a budding magnolia tree in the spring, beagles exhibit a one-track (forgive the pun) mind. The other endearing feature of beagles is the unique vocalization, or “baying,” sound they make, which can be relentless … and not so endearing if it’s three in the morning! Given appropriate exercise, safe walks on leash, and supervision — items needed for all dogs — beagles are often an excellent choice for a family pet.

Before adopting a beagle — or any pet — do some basic research on their needs. Then make an informed decision on whether your lifestyle, experience, and commitment is a match for those needs. If you do decide a beagle would be a good match for your family, visit the shelter and some of the beagles we currently have for adoption.

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