Life After the Chase
The 501 (c) (3) Hound Welfare Fund was started in the year 2000 by three hound enthusiasts who wanted to provide a secure retirement program for the Iroquois Hounds. Jerry Miller, MFH and his wife Susan had been retiring them all to their farm setting the example for taking full responsibility for the entire life of the hunting hounds. Glenye Cain, Uschi Graham, and Lilla S. Mason wanted to take that a step further to ensure their tradition would be continued in a self sustaining way. With the help of an inspired committee, the HWF was welcomed and supported by some IHC hunt members, community businesses and our first influential benefactor Hilary J Boone Jr. At first, the foxhunting community was slow to embrace hound retirement, but a decade later, after national publicity about our efforts kept raising the issue, one and then two and then three other hunts started their own hound retirement programs. Our success had a ripple effect, and continues to represent a model for other hunts to follow.
Members and supporters of the Iroquois Hunt Club founded the Hound Welfare Fund in 2000 to provide a guaranteed and secure retirement for all hounds that have hunted with Iroquois.
The ethos of the HWF is informed by Iroquois joint-Master Jerry Miller’s philosophy that hounds should receive cradle-to-grave care and that there is no hound that – provided it is physically sound and given time and humane training – cannot become a successful member of a hunting pack.
Our Program Founded in 2000, the HWF provides a model for other groups and individuals in the United States and abroad that wish to provide comfortable and dignified retirements for hunting hounds that can no longer participate in active hunting. The HWF:
- Puts 100% of all donations directly to the hounds’ care
- Is a 501 (c) (3) foundation, meaning your donations are tax-deductible,
- Has no paid officers or staff and is run entirely by volunteers.
The Iroquois Hunt’s retired hounds live alongside an active hunting pack in kennels at Miller Trust Farm. The kennel space, kennel staff time, and kennel overhead costs (electricity and water) are donated to the HWF, which pays for the retired hound’s feeding and veterinary care.
The retired hounds generally number between 20 – 25 hounds in any given year. The retirees have access to:
- Ample daily turnout in a fenced 20-acre area that includes a pond, woods, and open pasture
- A kennel area with a dog door allowing them to go in and out at will
- In the evenings, when the active pack is in for the night, the retired hounds can come and go as they please between the kennel and a fenced two-acre paddock, a climate-controlled area with heat in the winter and air-conditioning in the summer.