Love at first sight for hounds

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 8:39 am

Love at First Sight -- Belle and TinkerYou could almost hear the music playing as Belle, a bloodhound, was introduced to Ticker, a bluetick coonhound, on that day back in December at the Fayetteville/Lincoln County Animal Shelter.

“Ticker was turned in Dec. 17 to the shelter and moped around the yard, sad, wondering what happened to his life,” said Kim Emami-Davis, rescue coordinator.

The coonhound had been found running up and down the avenues in Fayetteville. But it wouldn’t be long before his moping at the shelter would come to an end, and Ticker’s life would change.

Belle had arrived at the shelter, just four days after Ticker, and Kim said it was love at first sight for the two hounds. They rolled and played, and became the most popular couple in the yard, she said.

“Ticker was the envy of all the other boys, because Belle only had eyes for him,” Kim continued. “They spent their days at the shelter, playing and running and sitting outside each other’s doghouse … On rainy days, they would even squeeze into the same doghouse.”

It was definitely more than just a holiday romance. At one point, Belle was scheduled to go to a rescue that only took bloodhounds, and shelter volunteers were worried what would happen to the bluetick. They decided then to feature him as Pet of the Week.

In the Pet of the Week feature, in The Times’ Shelter Voices on Jan. 16, Ticker even eluded to Belle, saying, “I am kind of sweet on a purty little bloodhound gal down here, and word just came out that she’s going to a rescue this week, and that pretty much puts a stopper in that.”

“People came by to see Ticker, but everyone agreed he was too in love with Belle to separate them,” recalled Kim. “New Year’s came and went, and Belle and Ticker only seemed to grow closer.

“Then one day, everything changed for them. A nice lady with a rescue called and said she had a great farm that Ticker and Belle could go to!”

Kim and the rest of the crew at the shelter were anxious to meet the family that would save the lovebirds – “It was like we were meeting our future in-laws,” she said. “When the family arrived, everyone was thrilled, and Belle and Ticker seemed thrilled to be headed out the door together.”

It was happy ending for the two hounds, who had met at the shelter, located at 1718 Pulaski Highway in Fayetteville.

Last year the shelter’s rescue program saved 764 dogs and 67 cats. Another 393 dogs and 157 cats were adopted out by the shelter during 2012, and 81 dogs and four cats were redeemed by their owners. Sadly, though, 686 dogs and 823 cats had to be euthanized.

The Fayetteville/Lincoln County Animal Shelter is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 noon. It is closed on Thursdays and Sundays.

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