The majority of Bouviers that are processed through our program are adults. We seldom "rescue" puppies.
Adopting a Bouvier...
takes a special person with a general compassion for taking in a "re-homed" Bouv. It can take a lot of hard work and dedication (the same as with owning any pet), but the rewards can be plentiful. We believe that Bouvier rescues are "rescues for a reason". Many times, the reason is simply a mismatch of dog and original owner.
Our Rescue Program is dedicated...
to helping unfortunate Bouviers in Southern California. We are not a placement service for breeders.
Many rescued Bouviers originate from...
animal shelters where they have been dropped off by previous owners or picked up as "straylings", the latter of which the lost and helpless Bouv usually has no no microchip, tattoo, license tags or other form of permanent identification. In most cases, we have no concrete history of the "rescue". Some Bouvs are surrendered to us by their owners, the reason can vary greatly (i.e., death in family, divorce, moving out of country, no time to train, no time to devote to the dog, etc.).
When we have an incoming Bouvier...
they are usually fostered for at least a few days so that they can adjust a bit and provide us with the opportunity to learn more about their personality. Some dogs adapt to changing circumstances quickly and seemingly painlessly. Others take longer before they begin to show their "true colors". (One took over two months before we truly knew what we had on our hands.)
All Bouviers are...
sexually altered prior to placement. They are vet-checked, and occasionally, more extensive veterinarian care is needed before we deem the dog to be placeable.
On one occasion, an animal shelter's vet suspected a rescue Bouv of possibly having some type of heart problem. We took this dog to two other vets for examination; neither suspected anything wrong with the dog's heart. We ran appropriate tests anyway, including x-rays of the dog's heart. It could have been interpreted by some vets to by slightly larger than a dog of that size, but there were no murmurs, nothing. Just to be on the safe side, we fostered the dog for ~6 more weeks, then had the dog fully re-examined. During that time, the dog was getting excellent nutrition, plenty of exercise, training, and love. The second set of x-rays showed the dog's heart to be slightly smaller than before, and still no signs whatsoever of any heart murmurs or irregularity. Of course, this was no guarantee that the dog would never get a heart disease or any other illness, but the vet felt comfortable to diagnose the dog as not having a heart disease, and we felt comfortable to deem the dog "placeable".
Another occasion found us with an adult Bouvier who had entropion (all four eyelids) which required corrective surgery before he could go to his new home.
Sometimes we get Bouviers...
which the owners consider to be "problem" or "nuisance" dogs. After we evaluate them, more times than not, we believe what is needed is guidance, direction, training, consistency and again, acknowledging their existence with positive feedback and love. Some seem ready to go to their new homes in a week or so. We had one who wasn't ready until after 8 weeks of training and a consistent lifestyle, but boy did he make a complete turnaround! We were, and still are, so very proud of this particular Bouv.
What can you expect when you adopt a Bouvier?
Simply put: The unexpected! Most times, we do not know the history, overall personality or characteristics of the dog. Some of his or her "true colors" may not appear until the dog has been living with you as a family member for months. You must be dedicated and committed to dealing with situations as they appear. You don't have to be a "dog expert" to be successful; it just takes some common sense and remaining aware of behavioral changes and how you interact with the dog. Our Rescue Group provides total support for the life of your adopted Bouvier. We have a fine group of experienced people who are only a phone call away (and oftentimes a short drive) to help if needed.
We thoroughly screen applicants wanting to adopt a Bouvier.
We want to minimize the chance of a dog needing to be "re-homed". We do our best to match a dog's personality and needs with the expectations and lifestyle of a family. We all work together, and we keep in touch to make sure everything is all right and everyone is happy. What continues to amaze us is it seems that the adult Bouviers almost know what has taken place when they go to their new home; they seem to exhibit a keen appreciation for getting a "second chance" at life, or finally being loved and accepted for what they are; they seem to never forget what their new family means to them; their devotion seems to shine ever so brightly.
You want to adopt a Bouvier. Where do you begin?
We ask that you complete and submit the on-line SCBdFC Rescue Questionnaire. Or you can print it out and mail a hard copy to us if you choose. It all begins with the questionnaire and a phone interview.
Ms. Kathy Santana is our Rescue Coordinator. You'll need to speak with her for a brief interview and go from there. You can reach Kathy at (951) 903-3574 or email her.
Although we have many families on our list who are waiting for the "right" Bouvier to adopt, it is not a first-come, first-served process. Rather, we notify you when we believe to have a Bouvier available who seems to fit nicely with your family and lifestyle. We are often asked how quickly a Bouvier can be adopted. There is no cut-and-dried answer when it comes to rescue, sorry. There have been occasions where we felt we had a match before we received the questionnaire back from the applicant and we called them to talk further. There have been families who waited several months before we finally felt we had a good match. Each case is unique, just as each dog is unique.
What if you're not a Southern Californian?
We prefer to place our rescues "locally". It is much easier to provide support as needed. We have placed Bouvs in different geographic regions, but it's rarely the case. That's not to say that we don't wish to hear from you. We network with other rescue groups and try to remain aware of Bouvs available in other areas. If you like, call us anyway and complete our form. We are happy to refer you to an appropriate group if we can't help you. For other rescue groups around the nation, go to: www.ABRL.org