All Ears Basset Sanctuary started as a plan for spending my retirement years surrounded by beautiful bassets who, for either physical or emotional reasons, were considered unadoptable. These sweet innocents are dumped in kill shelters at a high rate and usually don’t make it out alive. Then two bassets came into my life and I realized that I couldn’t postpone my plan until I retired because the need is so great now. These are the two dogs that are in our logo.

Max "The Wonder Dog" is the older, white dog in the logo. He was rescued by Jamie, a good friend and basset lover in California. A passer-by had seen Max being thrown from a moving car into a ditch. The passer-by stopped to pick him up and took him to the local shelter, which planned on putting him down because he was old and not a dog that would normally be chosen by families looking for a new friend.

Since there were no rescues in the area, Jamie went down to the shelter to get him. When the animal control officer brought Max into the waiting room, she saw an old, dejected-looking hound. He had no front teeth, was filthy dirty, and was oh-so-skinny. But as she spoke to the officer about his situation, Max jumped up onto a chair and let out a very loud "WOOF!"

"I turned to look at him, and he was grinning at me with a toothless smile. I knew then that this old hound would be coming home to live with me." That "woof" was the last sound Max the Wonder Dog would make for a very long time, for he was so very afraid of losing his new home. Over the years, Max the Wonder Dog demonstrated to Jamie how much love an old basset hound can give. He always greeted her at the door with his toothless smile and -- once he realized barking was all right -- a big, happy "woof"!

Max the Wonder Dog made his journey to the bridge in April, 2008. He was around 18 years old, and his spirit was still as happy as it was the day Jamie saved him.

The little pup in our logo is Mustang Sally. Sally's little life was a short one: she was born on November 26, 2006 and left for the Bridge on March 3, 2007. She was born with a heart condition and the breeder wasn't going to spend any money on her. She was put in a cage in a corner and given just enough food to survive. But Sally was lucky -- the breeder allowed a rescue in Missouri to take and give her love and security for the rest of her too-short life. Many puppy millers and breeders kill dogs like Sally by starvation, drowning or running them over -- and this is legal in many places!

Although I never personally met either Max or Sally, both taught me too much about the horrors that many companion animals face. It was then I knew I couldn’t postpone my rescue for a single day, let alone years. All Ears Basset Sanctuary became a reality. In addition to helping New Mexico dogs, we accept dogs from all over the country. If we don’t bring them to All Ears, we work with the local shelters and rescues to find places for them. As long as millions of companion animals are killed every year, the need for rescues will remain.

- Chris Dowd, President
All Ears Basset Sanctuary