For the public who has seen the pack of dogs at Lowes shopping center parking lot and wonders what has become of them, PAWS offers the following outline.
On September 7, 2015, Labor Day—a pack of seven dogs were seen at Lowes parking lot—all seemingly homeless, with no collars, unkempt, and no doubt—not vaccinated. They presented danger of dog bites and traffic accidents as they crossed Route 8 in search of food.
From the beginning, Patrick Animal Welfare Society and concerned citizens watched out for them. Patrick County Animal Shelter and the animal control officer were also involved.
Most of the dogs were beagle mixes and nursing or pregnant females. There is a Town of Stuart Ordinance against dogs running loose; they are to be kept in an enclosure or fenced yard and walked on a leash.
On October 11, 2015, a PAWS volunteer fed treats to the beagles. These animals were very wary and skittish and kept their distance, so treats were tossed in their direction hoping to lure them closer. On October 21, 2015, a male beagle was hit by a car. A Lowes employee caught this dog, got vet care for it and kept the dog as her pet.
These dogs are very smart and stay close to Hardee’s, Stuart Family Restaurant and Lowes Foods where the chance of food is best.
Beginning on December 1, 2015, a PAWS volunteer who works in the area began to feed a female beagle-Bassett mix who was obviously hungry and probably pregnant. Just two days later she came when called and ate canned food from a bowl. This continued for some time and we hoped to catch her eventually. It became a battle of wits.
On January 20, a litter of five pups was found beneath an abandoned house behind the shopping center. They were the pups of a young Beagle, who is believed to be the daughter of the one now eating from a bowl. These pups were fostered by PAWS and on February 10 went to Martinsville-Henry County SPCA to go on to North Shore Animal League in New York.
There were numerous attempts to catch this young female and the older beagle-Bassett mix, by both PAWS and the animal control officer—but all attempts failed. The dogs were being fed by too many people and they could not be lured into traps, and continued to roam the area.
On March 16 a male beagle-Bassett mix dog was caught in a trap at Hardee’s by the animal control officer and later taken in by PAWS. A vet check showed him to be neutered and in pretty good health but he was traumatized and it took several months of patient care before he was trusting and friendly. On June 27 “Pokey” was transported to Roanoke to meet up with his ride on to BROOD, a Bassett rescue group in Charlottesville.
Between March 21-30 three hound-mix pups were chased down and caught by a young woman who works at Lowes Foods. These pups were born and raised in groundhog holes behind old Patrick Building Supply lot on Commerce St. All were fostered by PAWS and taken on June 3 to Martinsville-Henry County SPCA for transport to North Shore Animal League in New York. We still cannot catch the mother hound of these pups.
On May 26 five pups (eyes not open yet) were found under the same old house and belong to the older mama beagle-Bassett mix. Food was put out for her every other day and she was also fed by a PAWS volunteer around H & R Block on a regular basis.
On June 11 this mama Beagle-Bassett mix was captured with “TLC” as she simply walked into an enclosure for food and laid down. Mama and the five pups were all taken to a foster home that very same day. Slowly they were weaned and on June 28 the mama was moved to another PAWS foster home. These pups will be available for adoption soon and can be seen now on Petfinder.com website.
PAWS volunteers were vigilant in monitoring these dogs for over nine months and working hard to get them out of crisis and into their care. Many people fed and were concerned about them and we tried to keep them informed.
In years past, we have secured and spent $15,000 in grant money earmarked especially for spay and neuter for community animals. Our cost for food, vet care, preventive medications (wormer, flea/tick treatments) and transportation is all paid for by donations as we have not had any grant funds for over four years. When animals are taken into foster care and transferred to another rescue group, we do not recoup any of these expenses
So far we have transferred one adult and 13 pups to other rescue groups and still have mama beagle-Bassett mix waiting to be spayed and placed.
The two remaining known feral females in that area will continue to be an issue by having more unwanted pups and avoiding being caught.
Please help us to be able to continue to help animals in need by donating to PAWS, P.O. Box 743, Stuart, VA 24171.
Thank you for caring…we will continue to do the work!
Brenda Sims
PAWS Volunteer

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