Hoard of Hounds - A true DRN rescue story

Once upon a time, in a land not as far away as we would like (the Central Coast, NSW), there was an Evil Old Man who lived on a great vast estate.  Not many of the townsfolk knew, but on his estate the Evil Old Man kept hounds.  Lots of hounds.   From two week old puppies to arthritic, tumour-ridden, blind old hounds.  Twenty hounds in all. If travellers accidentally crossed the Evil Old Man’s land, he told them that these hounds were his family.  That he loved his hounds.  That he lived for his hounds.

Lillie Brown

Sadly though, this was not the case.  How could it be?  These hounds the Evil Old Man kept were in terrible condition; they were starving, covered in fleas, infested with hook worm, undesexed, not micro-chipped, rotten teeth, blind, deaf, covered in mange, mammary lumps and croaky barks that the Kindly Animal Doctor later commented that the barks can only be caused from years of neglect. These hounds had never had vet care. Sometimes these hounds lived in cages. Sometimes these hounds did get fresh water, but mostly it was dirty old tank water. Sometimes these hounds got food, but only the youngest and fittest got to eat, leaving the older hounds to starve.

The years of neglect were starting to take their toll on the hounds and the Evil Old Man was getting tired of their crying and fighting and dying.

Then one day, the Evil Old Man had a thought.  Perhaps he could sell off his hounds (at 100 gold coins each) and move to another land far, far away.  So the Evil Old Man placed an ad in the local gazette, “’need to get rid of my hounds, 100 gold coins each”.

A few of the townsfolk answered the Evil Old Man’s advertisement.  They visited his great big estate and saw the hounds that the Evil Old Man had for sale.

My gosh, they’re a little underweight, don’t you think Mr Evil Old Man?”dogs in cages

Nothin that a bit of food won’t fix” the Evil Old Man mumbled.

Why hasn’t that hound got any fur, Mr Evil Old Man?”

That’s just the way she is”, the Evil Old Man guffawed. “Do you worm your hounds, Mr Evil Old Man, they really are awfully skinny?”

“No need to worm these hounds, they eat the sh*t and dirt on the ground, that will stop worms…..” screeched the Evil Old Man.

puppies left to starve

Sadly no one wanted the Evil Old Man’s hounds.  A little time later, a kindly stranger called the Hound Police to warn them of this Evil Old Man and the condition of his Hoard of Hounds. “Too busy”, “Not our region”, “We don’t have the resources”, were some of the responses of the Hound Police. Alas, these poor hounds were destined to continue this life of misery. . .until something magical happened.

Dog Rescue Newcastle was called.  And within an hour of receiving the mercy call, two of DRN’s Fairy Dog-Mothers were on their way to meet the Evil Old Man and his Hoard of Hounds. When the Fairy Dog-Mothers, Jo & Michelle, drove up to the Evil Old Man’s estate, they could not believe their eyes. 

“So many hounds!” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Jo.

“How can we save them all?” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Michelle.

The Evil Old Man approached the Fairy Dog-Mothers.

Hello Ladies!”, he schmoozed, “Would you like to buy a hound?”

The Fairy Dog-Mothers were horrified, “we are a rescue group, and we are here to rescue your hounds!”

“These hounds don’t need rescuing, there is nothing wrong with them.” hissed the Evil Old Man.

But the hounds are sickly, starving and have been badly neglected.” replied the Fairy Dog-Mothers.

The hounds are 100 gold coins each – that’s my final offer!” said the Evil Old Man greedily.

So the Fairy Dog-Mothers continued to argue with the Evil Old Man over money.  Finally the Evil Old Man agreed to sell 6 of his most sickly hounds for a total sum of 300 gold coins.

Now which ones do we take?” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Michelle.

“I know” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Jo, “they are all so needy and scared.”

“How about that one?” asked Fairy Dog-Mother Michelle.

“She is very poorly.” replied Fairy Dog-Mother Jo“and him; and her; and those two; and my gosh, we can’t leave without this little one….” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Jo.old dog

So the Fairy Dog-Mothers loaded up six of the most haunted hounds and gave the Evil Old Man 300 gold coins.  The Evil Old Man couldn’t believe his luck – finally someone wanted his hounds.

The first stop for the Fairy Dog-Mothers was the Kindly Animal Doctor. “I have never seen so many neglected hounds at one time.” cried the Kindly Animal Doctor. “This one is blind; this one has mammary lumps; this one has such bad mange, I doubt her hair will grow back …..” continued the Kindly Animal Doctor.

“But can we help them, can’t we, please?” asked the Fairy Dog-Mothers

“They all have rotten teeth that must be causing them incredible pain.” cried the Kindly Animal Doctor, “and we could not possibly operate on them at the moment because they are too weak.”

What if we fed them up and made them stronger hounds?” asked the Fairy Dog-Mothers.dogs tied up

Certainly try, but these hounds are very unwell and the kindest thing may be to put them to sleep.”
So the Fairy Dog-Mothers decided that they were going to try to get this Hoard of Hounds well enough to endure the surgery to have their rotten teeth removed and the various other ailments mended.  After all, isn’t that what rescue is all about?  Saving poor, mistreated animals from appalling conditions and nursing them back to health? Thus the Fairy Dog-Mothers consulted the Queen of the Fairy Dog-Mothers, Fairy Dog-Mother Sue, and asked what they should do next.

Fairy God-Mother Sue said, “Shout out to The Great Group of Volunteers of DRN to see if they can perhaps help this poor Hoard of Hounds.”

And so the Fairy Dog-Mothers asked the Great Group of Volunteers of DRN if they could help with the Hoard of Hounds. The response was over-whelming.  The Great Group of Volunteers of DRN wanted to help save this Hoard of Hounds.  Hence transport was organised, grooming appointments made and food collected to care for this Hoard of Hounds. It was decided by the Fairy Dog-Mothers to try and keep the hounds together as best they could.  Alas, Fairy God-Mother Jo took Little Brown and Tiny. Fairy God-Mother Michelle took the two little puppies, Winnie & Toffee. And Fairy Dog-Mother Di took Betty and Ted, the crusty old geriatrics of the pack.

The first night the hounds were in their new homes, they didn’t know what to expect. They were frightened and were wondering why these humans were being so kind.

“Why are we allowed inside the big house?” they thought, “do we need to go outside to pee?”

“Why are we having dinner, we only ate a couple of hours ago?”rescuer

“Why is this human talking to me? Does she want me to talk back because I can’t talk, I can hardly muster a bark? What is that smell?  Is it flowers? Is it perfume?  I can’t smell dirt and crap any more.Is that how I now smell?  I will need to go outside and roll in something so I can go back to the fresh stench of poo!” Hence the healing process began for this Hoard of Hounds.

Ted and Betty adapted well to their new homes.  They put on weight at a rapid rate.  The Kindly Animal Doctor thought that she could operate on both of them and they could perhaps live happily ever after. Sadly, poor Tiny got a tick from hiding out in the garden all day, but thankfully the Kindly Animal Doctor saved her, but her cough is so bad that she cannot be adopted until it goes away. The puppies, Winnie & Toffee also put on weight because their Fairy God-Mother Michelle bottle fed them every four hours, however, little Toffee is still poorly as he has terrible hook worm.

Alas, Little Brown, now known affectionately as Lillie Brown, is another tale. Lillie Brown is so scared of humans, that she spends most of her day hiding in her kennel shaking. She has lumps and bumps all over her body, she has no fur from the mange, her teeth are giving her a lot of pain and her hips are showing signs of dysplasia.  Lillie Brown is only 6 years old.

The Kindly Animal Doctor says to Fairy Dog-Mother Jo, “I’m not sure where to start with this little girl; she is so poorly.” Fairy Dog-Mother Jo and the Kindly Animal Doctor decided to start with Lillie Brown’s teeth and lumps.  Within a week, Lillie Brown started to put on weight, as it no longer hurt to eat.  The tests for her lumps came back negative for anything sinister.  She stopped hiding in her kennel and ventured outside to lie in the sun.  She started to trust Fairy Dog-Mother Jo, but is still not quite sure of anyone else. It is estimated by the Kindly Animal Doctor that the cost to treat Lillie Brown will be upwards of 2000 gold coins; the puppies around 500 gold coins; and Ted and Betty around 2000 gold coins each.hungry, ill and frightened

“Where are we going to get that amount of gold coins?”cried the Fairy Dog-Mothers, Jo & Michelle. “Perhaps we can ask the Queen of the Fairy Dog-Mothers, Sue.”  replied Fairy Dog-Mother Di. And they did. Oh my” cried the Queen of the Fairy Dog-Mothers “where are we going to get that many gold coins?” So the 3 Fairy Dog-Mothers and the Queen of the Fairy Dog-Mothers sat down and thought.  And thought and thought.

We need to save this Hoard of Hounds.” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Di.

But we don’t have that many gold coins.” cried Fairy Dog-Mother Jo.

“Aha!” cried the Queen of the Fairy Dog-Mothers, “perhaps we can ask the good people of the Kingdom of Newcastle?  Surely they would want to help this Hoard of Hounds!”

“Hip, Hip, Hooray!” cried the Fairy Dog-Mothers, “the Queen of the Fairy Dog-Mothers has the answer to how we can save this Hoard of Hounds.” Unfortunately, it is easy to believe that this sort of neglect does not happen right here in our neighbourhood, but sadly it does.

Dog Rescue Newcastle spends around $30,000 per month on vet bills from money donated by the kind people of the Hunter.  However, this is an extreme case, and we really do need extra support from our followers.

The End


Postscript: We rescued 6 dogs that day. We pressured the authorities until they siezed the remaining 14 dogs. We took 4 more dogs and other rescue groups took 10. Sadly, Betty, one of the senior dogs died (see below). All required extensive rehabilitiation and vet treatment. Lillie Brown's vet bills were over $2,500. All of the other dogs have been adopted. Lillie Brown was adopted by her Fairy Dogmother. No matter how large or small your gift is, it is very much appreciated.


This tale is a tribute to Fraillie “Betty” Baillie, a kind and gentle lady that crossed the rainbow bridge on 8 January 2014, after having untold years of neglect, but 6 good weeks of love, a full belly and a comfortable bed at night.  RIP Betty – may your sight, hearing and mind all be returned my sweet girl.

Donate to Help of the Dogs from the Hoard

We saved 10 of these dogs and all require veterinary treatment and rehabilitation.
Donations are tax deductible!
There are 4 ways to donate:

(1) Use PayPal to donate securely online using your credit card or bank account. You don't need to have a PayPal account. Just click on the Donate button below:

(2) Make a deposit to our Newcastle Permanent bank account at any branch or use internet banking to to do an online funds transfer to: BSB: 650 000       Account: 986245302
     (please include "Hoard of Hounds" as a reference and send us an email so we know who to thank)

(3) Mail a cheque written to "Dog Rescue Newcastle" to P. O. Box 7061, Redhead NSW 2290.

(4) Make a regular, monthly donation. Instructions on our Help Us page.

There are also many ways you can help which don't involve money. Please read our Help Us page for suggestions.

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