Kuvasz Rescue .US
Karpati Kuvasz Rescue
A young man was walking down a long crescent beach.

He saw someone in the distance stopping now and then.

As he approached he realized it was an old man who was picking up a starfish each time he stopped,and putting it back into the sea.

"Excuse me," the young man said.

"There are thousands of beaches in the world,and millions of starfish stranded on the sand.

What possible difference could this make?"

The old man reached down, picked up another starfish and put it back into the water.

He looked across to the younger man.

"Saved that one"


This site was put up to assist in the Karpati rescue. It is maintained as a tribute to the resiliency, the "heart", of this remarkable breed. 

There are times when you see a situation and despite everything else there is to do, despite whatever is happening around you in your own life, you look and say "I have to save that one."

The Karpati Story

There are rescues, and then there are "rescues". This is the harrowing story of a very special group of dogs, exceedingly able and intelligent Kuvasz, who overcame conditions and circumstance to come back to the essence of their breed...and more.

In June 2006, Paul Korniczky of Nanticoke, NY, a long time Kuvasz breeder, died of natural causes, leaving 17 German Shepherds and 49 Kuvasz dogs, kenneled, alone, fending for themselves. No one came to feed and water them or provide the basic care that all dogs need. The dogs were traumatized and starving. Some died.

To add to the horror, during the week after his death Paul's farm was robbed, while the dogs could only watch from their runs. Anyone who knows and loves this breed can imagine what that put them through, not being able to respond and protect.

The local County Sheriff's Department eventually found Paul's body, and the dogs, after receiving a call about apparent animal neglect from the Nanticoke Dog Control Officer. They contacted the local Humane Society, a private rescue organization, who were suddenly overwhelmed, providing food and water to the dogs still left on Korniczky's property, while separately rescuing more animals from the 2006 summer flooding, and finally another separate 200-animal rescue. The Society initially fed and watered the dogs in place on the farm.

One national Kuvasz rescue group announced that they would undertake the rescue. A month or more later, however, no dogs had been moved from the situation. There were no plans to do so.

Steve Kovacs, a Kuvasz owner and actively involved in the breed for more than 30 years, got involved, and assisted with the removal of the first 24 Kuvasz from Korniczky's farm. Kuvasz owners and others who loved the breed came together behind that private effort to help. Another smaller but more active rescue group did as well. Most of those dogs were placed in homes over a period of 6 weeks.

At the same time those 24 were rescued, and for a short period after, several other dogs and puppies were also taken for rescue from that kennel, finally leaving 8 dogs. Those dogs were moved to the Society shelter.

Near the end of that six weeks Steve began to re-opened the kennels on his family farm to take some of 24 that were not initially placed . There was also uncertainty about whether there were still other Kuvasz un rescued at the shelter.

As this was being done, Steve was contacted by Will Hotchkiss, who described the conditions of 8 Kuvasz now at the shelter rather than the farm. The shelter's resources had been stretched thin and their personnel inundated. Lack of familiarity with the Kuvasz breed led to some of the dogs being improperly assessed and thereby receiving improper care.  A few were incorrectly classed as fear aggressive and unsociable, when in reality they were only violently opposed to being restrained harshly, as any Kuvasz would be. Handlers were too fearful of some of the dogs to do more than feed them through the kennel - afraid to even clean out their runs.

The dogs had spent the last five weeks or more living in 3x6 pens with no walls, surrounded by other dogs -- some appearing very aggressive. Some runs not cleaned regularly for fear of some dogs, other dogs were in a fearful or depressed state. One not willing to even lift his head in response to a call or whistle. Another isolated.

Upon hearing this, arrangements were immediately made to bring those dogs to Steve's farm.

"Right now".

Will and Kelly Hotchkiss, Kuvasz owners and rescue workers who live near the shelter, spent hours on the road in what was then a new minivan, shuttling the remaining 8 dogs to Steve's farm.

The dogs were extremely shell-shocked from their ordeal at the shelter and before, timid to the point of being withdrawn and all were in dire need of proper nutrition and psychological rehabilitation. It was a pretty sad and daunting moment seeing such a group of shaggy, dirty, very unhappy Kuvasz arrive at the farm. But they were safe. They were noticeably less tense between when they and arrived hours later in real, and clean, runs, in a calm environment.

Steve wrote the following about the first night after the dogs came down :

That first night, it was dark by the time we were done with the dogs watering them, my going in with them a little, etc.. I left one inside light on in the kennel.

As I was walking back to the house I stopped and turned back, to look at the kennel. I could see soft light coming out the high level windows over the runs, and coming through the doors between inside and outside runs. Some frogs and crickets chirping in
the fields. Dark sky.

I could see 8 shapes just outlined by the light. Some standing, some laying down. 8 Kuvasz heads backlit by the light. It was a very good feeling

Today, all have been brought back to a much healthier state, both mentally and physically. Each is fed a diet based on the dog's own nutritional needs. They have a plethora of toys and blankets, kindly donated by folks who learned of their story, including warm fuzzy fleeces and piles of blankets they "arrange and rearrange" on a  daily basis and depending on the weather. They bounce and play, bring toys to share when you approach the kennels, bark and protect if someone arrives on the property, and cuddle and cavort on their daily runs in the field!

Each dog has received hours and hours of patient, caring attention. Some have progressed faster than others, but all are doing well and most are ready for adoption by a good family.

These are truly remarkable dogs - a joy to us and a credit to their breed.  They went through more than 2 months where their master died, they watched strangers rob their farm while they could do nothing, they were handled in ways contrary to the breed's make up, and were fed and distantly cared for by other strangers.

Yet, after all of that, every one of them, literally and noticeably, still worked to recover. These dogs, whose background was a kennel environment, really worked hard not just to recover, but to move forward as individuals - putting trust in us and others.

Looking through the pictures, and the movies of the dogs running across the field, we think you'll agree, it's a "very good feeling". Share that with us.

Come inside and meet the dogs!!!!

All contents © 2011 Stephen H Kovacs
For more information, contact: steve@kuvaszrescue.us
A very special thanks to Karen Cass, who designed and built this site

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