As a dog mom, I am very thankful to all the volunteers who dedicate their time to working with rescue groups. Many of them work long and hard ensuring rescue dogs are taken care of and adopted to the right person or family. When you conduct a google search for French Bulldog rescues, many different organizations pop up. How do you know which rescue group you should work with and more importantly how do you know which rescue groups are legitimate? In my research I had the privilege of corresponding with a member of the Board of Directors from the French Bulldog Rescue Network. I chose to interview the French Bulldog Rescue Network since they were the most visible French Bulldog rescue on social media.
French Bulldog Rescue Network
The French Bulldog Rescue Network began in 2001 when the French Bulldog Club of America ended the rescue portion of the organization. The rescue is a national 501(c)(3) organization. The 501(c)(3) dedication indicates they are registered with the IRS as a charitable organization. For a 501(c)(3) to retain this designation, they must obtain at least one third of their donations from a “broad base of public support.” The French Bulldog Rescue Networks mission statement reads as follows: “to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home French Bulldogs in need from commercial breeding kennels, import brokers, public shelters, private rescue groups, owners or Good Samaritans” Their goal is to “place healthy and happy French Bulldogs into forever homes.” The rescue is run solely by volunteers who work in varying capacities from vet visit coordinators to foster managers who oversee all the foster homes with dogs in their care. When asked what the hardest part of running a rescue was, the representative from the French Bulldog Rescue Network stated that “coordinating vet visits and veterinary care for the dogs across the entire country over multiple time zones is the biggest challenge.” This is where their vet visit team comes into play and these volunteers are said to be the backbone of the rescue.
There are many reasons you should look into rescuing a French Bulldog as opposed to buying one and, no, one of the reasons is not the cost. The cost to purchase a French Bulldog could be the smallest price tag you have to pay over the life of your frenchie. If you are lucky, you will have a happy, healthy French Bulldog who has no health issues whatsoever. However, there are many health issues that come along with this breed from allergies to spinal issues. The first reason you may wish to rescue instead of purchase is that having a puppy is much like having a newborn baby. If you are willing and ready for many sleepless nights and constantly cleaning up pee and poop, then purchasing or adopting a puppy may be an option for you. If not, rescuing an older frenchie may be a better option. The second and most important reason, in my opinion, is simply that there are so many dogs in rescues that are in need of forever homes. The French Bulldog Rescue Network typically has 60-70 dogs in its care at a time and has had upwards of 100 dogs at a time and this is just one rescue. French Bulldogs have become increasingly popular over the past few years. This has led to many more people breeding French Bulldogs. There are many reputable breeders out there. However, there are also many people breeding frenchies who are not experienced with the breed. Therefore, they are not making the best decisions when breeding or simply not caring about the health of the breed and only caring about making a buck. People may purchase a French Bulldog puppy without thoroughly researching the breed and then end up with a dog with a plethora of health problems. When they can not afford the veterinary bills for the dog, they may surrender this dog. The French Bulldog Rescue Network receives frenchies that are malnourished and have severe health problems. Some of the common health issues they see in the dogs they rescue are allergies, breathing problems, cardiac, and spinal issues. In 2019, the costs incurred by the French Bulldog Rescue Network for veterinary care alone totaled $300,000.00. This is one of the reasons that donations are so important to rescue groups. If you are interested in donating to the French Bulldog Rescue Network, you may donate here: http://frenchbulldogrescue.org/help-fbrn/donate/ or text FRENCHIE to 44321. You may also choose the French Bulldog Rescue Network as your charity of choice on Amazon Smile like I do. For qualified purchases I make on Amazon, Amazon donates a portion to the French Bulldog Rescue Network.
Legitimate Rescues vs Non-Legitimate Rescues
You may be asking; how do I tell a legitimate rescue from a non-legitimate rescue? While corresponding with the French Bulldog Rescue Network, they confirmed that non-legitimate rescues may not have a 501(c)(3) designation, they may charge extraordinarily high adoption fees and they may not have a social media presence. Some other red flags they warned that could indicate a rescue is not a legitimate rescue is that they obtain their dogs from unknown or distant locations, they do not use volunteers, they may not screen potential adopters or they overly screen potential adopters, they have a high volume of “designer dogs”, they withhold important information, they get defensive about answering questions, and they do not provide names and/or contact information on their website. Some so-called rescue groups may be puppy mills posing as a rescue group so be sure to look for these red flags. Legitimate rescue groups will be recognized by other rescue groups and are willing to work with shelters and the other legitimate rescue groups. They are genuinely concerned with what is best for the dog. They will conduct vet checks to ensure potential adopters provide veterinary care for their pets and they will conduct home visits. The French Bulldog Rescue Network is now conducting home visits via Facetime, Skype or Zoom due to the pandemic.
Whether you choose to rescue or purchase your frenchie is a personal choice. I hope to have offered some convincing reasons why you should consider rescuing a French Bulldog.