Man dedicates his retirement to caring for nearly 20 beagles

WASILLA, Alaska (KTUU/Gray News) – One Alaska man has made it his mission to care for any unwanted beagles across the state. Now, he’s got nearly 20 dogs.

Dave Dorsey is retired, but he says he’s a full-time “beagle wrangler” at the Alaska Beagle Ranch in Wasilla, where he cares for 17 beagles and one basset.

“I love them all,” Dorsey said. “I have one basset. His name is Bill, and I like to say that he identifies as a beagle.”

Dorsey likes to laugh because he’s a happy canine keeper. Whether he’s letting the rag-tag bunch of dogs out a door or letting them outdoors, there’s always a stampede of unrestrained joy and happy barking, knowing this is their forever home.

“This is where all beagles come to be happy,” Dorsey said. “They’re good dogs. They’re easy to love.”

While beagles are notorious for their barking, Dorsey has a solution.

“I know when not to wear my hearing aids,” he said with a laugh.

He also makes sure to feed all the dogs blueberry pancakes at least once a week.

“It’s all about love. You can have the worst day going on. You come home, and you got these guys here. They just make it better,” Dorsey said.

This journey started for Dorsey back in 2009.

“I was divorced for about a year, and I decided it was time to get a dog again because I always had dogs,” he said.

Now, the Beagle Ranch is an official tax-exempt sanctuary and a truly sweet home for these dogs, content and calm because of Dorsey’s huge heart – though, he may play favorites.

“Shilo’s had a rough life, and he’s had a hard time. He just steals my heart. This time last year, he was kicked by a moose. This is the fifth home he’s been at. This is his last one, of course,” Dorsey said.

Whether chasing a ball or weaving their way through deep snow trails in the yard, there’s one thing these beagles will never do without again: love.

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