Hunters say a recent case where several hunting dogs that were in bad shape and dropped off at a shelter highlights the importance of knowing the responsibilities that go along with having hunting dogs.
A recent case where thirteen hunting dogs were dropped off at an Eastern Carolina Humane Society, severely underfed and mistreated, gives hunters a bad name.
Hunters from the east say they want people to know that most hunters do not abuse their animals. In fact, they say their dogs become like a member of the family.
At least a few times a week, Jay Hinton takes hit lab Daisy out to Feather Creek Farms in Greenville, where she's taught everything she needs to know to be a great hunting companion.
"We ask an awful lot of them, so they need to be in tip top shape, and one way to make sure that they are is with proper feed and vet care," said Hinton.
While Daisy's owner says he gives her extra attention and care, that's not always the case for all owners of hunting dogs. Back in February, 13 dogs were dropped off at the Humane Society in Lenoir County.
They were so underfed and hungry, they ate one of their own overnight.
Workers there say they believe the owner used those dogs for deer hunting, but didn't take care of them.
Hinton says when he hears about cases like that it makes him upset, because he believes most hunters do take very good care of their animals.
"As a dog owner, you know you just want people to take care of their animals, because they really depend on you and they don't have any other source of defending for themselves."
Other hunting dog owners we talked to agreed. They say they want others to know that it's a big responsibility to have a hunting dog, and if you can't take care of one, don't get one.