My permanently featured pet is Hazel, a senior Bouvier bitch abandoned by a Sacramento area backyard puppy mill. She came to me with mammary cancer and advanced heartworm disease. If you know anyone who is thinking of buying a puppy from a pet store or a backyard breeder, please try to get them to read Hazel's story so they understand the suffering of the parent dogs and the lack of care for parents and puppies. You can see Hazel's story at http://webspace.cal.net/~pamgreen/hazel.html
My currently featured pet is Piola, a senior bitch, probably Bouv X. She is gentle and calm, well behaved in home , on walks, in car, in public. She is content being left home alone. She is affectionate but not demanding of attention. She'd be ideal for the less active home, as she is fulfilled by slow to moderate paced walks. She gets along with most dogs all the time, but not all dogs all the time (a few squabbles with my grumpy male dog who hates to have another dog touch him), and would be happy as an only dog. http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/22708418
I sometimes have dogs who I have not yet listed , either because I am still evaluating them or doing training or rehabilitation with them, or because there is a special adopter who has "first dibs" before I offer the dog to anyone else. I encourage you to contact me to be put on my e-mail list of waiting homes , as this list usually gets advanced notice and oppertunity to adopt before I add the dog to my petfinder listings.
I also sometimes can refer you to dogs being fostered by other rescuers or dogs who look like Bouviers or part-Bouvs that are at shelters. Also sometimes I am helping owners to find placements for their dogs, by acting as a referral service; in these cases I usually have NOT met the dog in person and have NOT evaluated the dog behaviorally. If you live outside my local area, Northern California, I can usually refer you to a Bouvier rescuer who is relatively local to your home.
You should also be searching http://Petfinder.com and http://PetHarbor.com for adoptable dogs. Adopting directly from the shelter means that you are saving a lot of money, as the shelter fee is quite a bit less than that of most Rescue groups. On the other paw, a Rescue group that does in-home fostering will have made a better evaluation of the dog's behavior in a household setting than a shelter is able to do in a shelter setting.
You may also check your local area Craigslist.com in the Pets section. But be aware that most of these listings are from people who mostly just want to be rid of the animal ; their focus is not on making a really good match, and even those who want a good match often lack the knowledge needed for match-making. Also beware of those trying to sell dogs or puppies on this list.Click here for a list of pets at this shelter
As of Nov 2011, I've done some more referral placements, some from surrendering owners and others from shelters. This works well for adopters who are experienced with the breed and with training and behavior modification. The adopter gets the benefits of promoting herself/himself to the top of the list, getting to meet and interview the surrendering owner (if it's an owner surrender case) and thus gain information directly, and the adopter gets to pay the shelter fee (usually very modest) rather than the club's somewhat higher fee (covering costs of added services not usually done at shelters). The dog has the advantage of one less change of home.
Hazel passed away (euthanized) on 9/04/07 due to late stage effects of her cancer. I will miss her sweetness and her optimism.
Update : through the efforts of the owner of one of Hazel's grand-daughters, the three Bouviers remaining at this backyard breeder have been surrendered by him, thus putting him out of the Bouv business, and the three are now all recovered from heartworm treatment and adopted into responsible and loving homes.
Crazy Pam's Bouvsite is a collection of information about Bouviers, dogs generally, dog Rescue (with information for Rescuers and Adopters) , training and problem solving, and dog humor and dog art. There is also some miscellaneous non-dog humor and art.
I have been rescuing Bouvier purebreds, Bouvier crosses, and "Bouvier Pretenders" aka "Bouvier Faux" (dogs who look like Bouviers but aren't) since 1987. I also occasionally rescue a dog who turns out to be a Giant Schnauzer or some other breed that gets confused with Bouvier. And once in a while I succumb to temptation to take a dog not remotely a Bouv because there is something special about that dog and/or because a shelter director begged me to take the dog. (And I will occasionally foster a Basenji for BRAT, as I have a fondness for these Raiders of the Lost Bark.)
To date, early 2008, I have fostered over a hundred dogs in my own home, and I have helped in the rescue and placement of many others. I also do some behavior problem consulting, though I insist that all aggression problems go to an Applied Animal Behaviorist or to a Veterinary Behaviorist with great experience in such problems. I usually refer serious behavior problems to the U.C. Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, which has a great Behavior Service.
As of mid 2009, I am affilated with the Rescue program of the Southern California Bouvier des Flandres Club , SCBDFC, (of which I have been a member for over 25 years) as their "director" for Northern California. This makes it easier for me to get dogs out of pounds and gives me some mutual support from and to others in the group.
as of 2013, I am getting older ("older than I once was and younger than I'll be" ?) and I find I am doing more and more "go direct to the shelter" placements and more and more "referral to surrendering owner" placements. But for now I am still able to foster dogs. But it is getting to be harder for me.
I try to do the best possible job of match-making between dog and adopter. Behavior and personality of dog and human are the most important aspects of any adoption matchmaking.
Before placing a dog, I conduct an extensive telephone interview to learn what the adopter is looking for and what the adopter has to offer a dog. I describe dogs in great detail, including vivid description of any behaviors that could be considered disagreeable. At this point the adopter usually comes to visit me and meet the dog or dogs in which they are interested ; alternatively I may take the dog to the adopter's home. I often conduct a home visit to look for potential problems that can be fixed before the dog moves in and to advise on ways to make the adjustment period go more smoothly.
Now that I am affiliated with SCBDFC's Bouvier Rescue, I also have adopters fill out the written SCBDFC Adoption Application. I can e-mail that to a potential adopter to be returned by e-mail to myself and to the SCBDFC Rescue Chair, Judy Kasper.
I require that all dogs adopted from me will live in the house as housedogs , ie that they will have full time access to at least one room of the house (NOT garage) whether or not the owner is home. I do NOT place dogs to become lonely neglected backyard dogs. Before placement all my foster dogs have lived in my house and learned acceptable housedog behavior, including housebreaking and use of the dog door. (I do not require that adopters have a dog door, as there can disadvantages to this that for some homes would outweigh the advantages. I DO require a safely fenced yard adequate for potty purposes, preferably adequate for the dog to play with person or another dog.)
Normally the first month in the new home is a "try out" period. If the adopter is not estatically happy with the dog, I want it to come back to me. If the dog is returned within the first month in mental and physical condition comparable to that in which it left me, I normally return the adoption fee. I WILL take a dog back at ANY time, no matter how long since the adoption , but I do NOT normally return the fee after one month. I get very very few returns because I am extremely careful in placing dogs. Many people have said that "it is easier to adopt a child" (than to get a dog from me) , and I am always delighted to hear that. Please don't mistake that as a statement of indifference to child welfare; it's simply reflects the realities of pet vulnerability and dependance. Unlike a child, a dog does not have the ability to complain of mistreatment to people outside the home; moreover legal authorites are far slower and less willing to act in cases of dog neglect or abuse than in cases of child neglect or abuse.
I am now Northern California Director for the SCBDFC Bouvier Rescue. The normal SCBDFC adoption fee is currently $450, though I certainly will not refuse any extra donations as this fee barely covers basic costs and falls far short of costs on some of the dogs. Occasionally the club will set a lower fee or will offer training achievement rebates on particular dogs. But if you find yourself worrying about an adoption fee, you should realize that you probably cannot afford to have a dog at all. It costs at least $1000 per year to properly care for a healthy dog in prime of life. The vet bills on an ill or injured one can be shockingly high, and it is inevitable that a high bill or series of bills will occur at least once during the dog's life, possibly several times, but the time when it will occur is unpredictable when the dog is young to middle-aged, more and more sure to occur sooner when the dog is old.
If you do have enough cash flow to care for a dog and are either making monthly savings towards the inevitable but unpredictable large vet bills that can occur or else are able to pay for veterinary insurance, but you don't have enough for an adoption fee from one of the Rescue groups (fees for most range upwards of $300), then consider searching the public open admission shelters in your area (fees for most in California range from $100 to 150, including spay/neuter). You can also try looking on craigslist and in local newspapers for low adoption fee or "free to good home" dogs being placed by their owners ; many of them are wonderful dogs, but many of the owners are more concerned with getting rid of an unwanted dog than with finding the best home for that dog.
I do NOT do long distance adoptions, for many reasons. Primary reasons are (1) it's crucial that the adopter come here to meet the dog and spend enough time with it to be as sure as possible that they really like the dog and want to commit to that dog for the rest of the dog's lifetime before the dog goes home with them , and (2) it's absolutely essential that the adopter be able and willing to return the dog to me if things are not working out or that I be able to go get the dog. So most of my adoptions are within 200 miles of Sacramento , CA and the rest are almost all within 500 miles, usually to homes checked out by SCBDFC's rescue team. For those living further away , I am happy to refer you to a Bouvier Rescue person who is in your own area. Or go to the American Bouvier Rescue League site : www.abrl.org.
Please remember that adopting a dog is a more serious commitment than getting married to a human being ! The dog will be dependant on you for its total welfare. But your human spouse is a self-sufficient adult who , in the words of an old song "got along without you before I met you, gonna get along without you now."
I live some miles outside of Davis, California, home of the UC Davis Vet School, about a dozen miles east of Sacramento. I am not putting directions to my home on this site, for obvious reasons of security and privacy for myself and my dogs.
I welcome visits from people who are not yet ready to adopt, who are "doing their homework" by learning about the breed, possibly one of several breeds they are considering. I welcome visits from people who have an allergy concern, who want to find out whether or not close contact with a Bouvier will provoke an allergic response ; there is simply no substitute for this personal contact test.
For more details on any of my policies and the reasons for them , or for more details on foster dogs, please visit my website at http://webspace.cal.net/~pamgreen and go to the Rescue section, which has material for adopters, rescuers, and others.
Crazy Pam's Bouvsite is a collection of information about Bouviers, dogs generally, dog Rescue (with information for Rescuers and Adopters) , training and problem solving, and dog humor and dog art. There is also some miscellaneous non-dog humor and art.Click here for a list of pets at this shelter