American Brussels Griffon Rescue Alliance Inc. (ABGRA) and American Affenpinscher Rescue (AAR) came into being to meet the needs of the Brussels Griffons and Affenpinschers who are abandoned, might be abandoned, or whose circumstances we can improve. We are especially mindful of the Griffs and Affens that have spent their lives in commercial breeding facilities and who will have a chance at a better life through our efforts.We also rescue both breeds from animal shelters and accept owner surrendered Griffs and Affens. ABGRA, & our subsidiary AAR, is a non-profit national rescue group.
We describe the dogs as best we can. If you have a specific question, please feel free to ask after you submit your application. If we feel you may be a good match for that dog, we will happily share stories and pictures with you. Many of our volunteers have full time paid jobs, so we ask that you submit your application before you ask questions. This will enable us to answer your questions more fully and to manage our time better. Once your application has been received, we will contact you.
You must complete the application fully, or we will be unable to process it in a timely manner . We do contact the personal references you provide and also perform a home visit to check the security of your fence, to assure that your home is safe and that this is the right match for you and the dog!
Brussels Griffons and many other toy breeds are especially needful of human companionship and are very unhappy when left alone. If your new dog will be left alone for more than 4 hours on a daily basis, then Brussels Griffons may not be the right breed for your life style.
Many of our dogs need the companionship of other small dogs. If you do not already have another small dog and the dog you are applying for has this need, then we will discuss this with you and may ask you to adopt a second compatible dog. We may also suggest a different dog that would be more compatible with you and your family.
We also want to know about your life style, your family members, current and past pets and why you are interested in adopting a specific dog in our program. This is as much for your benefit as the dog's. We try to ensure that you will be as happy with your new companion as your companion will be with you!
Small dogs can live 15 or more years. You must be willing to make that long term commitment to them for their entire life and especially into their old age. Many of our dogs come to us because their previous owners did not or could not honor their responsibility to care for them.
Most importantly, we want to know that you have the patience, love, time and understanding to successfully add a new dog to your family. More about what is expected is included in the next sections.
Applications are reviewed and processed in the order they are received. However, the first application received does not have priority over the others. The right family for the needs of each dog is selected to ensure that you and your new dog will be able to make a forever commitment to each other.
The suggested adoption donation is established to help defray the costs incurred for each dog’s veterinary fees and allows us to continue helping more dogs. In essence, the dog is free and you are actually reimbursing ABGRA for the medical costs and care of the dog. There is no such thing as a free dog!
At a minimum, your donation covers spay/neuter, vaccinations, fecal test, heartworm test, dental cleanings/extractions, and a microchip for identification purposes. Other issues such as uterine infections, major dentals, mammary tumors, hernias, etc. may raise the suggested donation for a dog. All aspects of the dog's health will be shared with you before the adoption is finalized.
All donations go back into our rescue fund. There are no salaries paid and most expenses other than veterinary care are not reimbursed to our unpaid volunteers and foster homes.
We must also consider the veterinary and general care for those dogs that may never be adopted due to their age or major health issues. Those medical costs must be covered by the otherwise healthy, adoptable dogs.
No one with a conscience makes money off of rescued pets. We consider it an honor to be able to do this. We hope that you consider it an honor to be able to make a difference in the life of the dog that you adopt.
We do not ship or transport our dogs. We prefer to adopt to families within driving distance of the dog. You must be able to travel to meet the dog and to pick him/her up in person if you are approved. If you fly, the dog must be stable enough to fly home with you in the cabin at your expense. Our dogs are never shipped or fly in cargo.
It is often a difficult transition for many of the dogs, so we ask you come to them and spend a reasonable amount of time making them feel comfortable in leaving with you. Since we have cared for these dogs in our homes, as our own pets, we want to meet you to see that it is a good match. If we determine, upon meeting you, that this is not a good match for you and the dog, then the final approval will not be made. We do our best to insure that each of our dogs finds the right forever home and that our approved adopters are matched with the right dog for their life style.
If your adoption application is approved, we often ask that you mail us a used, unwashed article of clothing, such as a t-shirt or socks. This item will be placed in the dog’s sleeping area so he/she becomes familiar with your scent. You may also send us items worn by other family members. Once the dog is familiar with your scent, he/she will “know” you when you finally meet in person.
Once we see that both you and the dog are comfortable with each other, the adoption contract will then be signed and you will deliver the check, cash or money order to us before you leave with your dog.
Living in a foster home is usually their first opportunity to learn to be a real dog. It will only get better once they have a forever home of their very own. They will quickly understand that you are their very own forever human and will progress even faster and further than they did in foster care. It will not happen overnight, but your rewards will be so worth it!
Before they are adopted we work with our foster dogs on house training, leash training and some simple commands, such as sit and stay. You will receive a report on their progress, but you will need to continue that training. You can expect that your dog will have potty accidents until you have established a routine that he/she understands. Patience, consistency, love and understanding are the only “secrets” when training your dog. We can provide information on training methods that we use and we encourage basic obedience classes once your dog becomes familiar with you and your family.
If you are willing to look past the initial fear, timidity, and apprehension and give rescued dogs a chance, they will be the most grateful and loyal pets imaginable. They are eager to please you and only want love and security in return. There are no “perfect” dogs, no matter what their background. If you are willing to overlook their slight imperfections, they will always overlook yours!
The annual cost to own a pet is another commitment we ask you to make. Annual veterinary checkups, including heart worm test and preventative medication, a fecal test and up to date rabies tags are a minimum, along with high quality food. We will advise you what food your dog was fed while in our care and can suggest other alternatives that will help maintain the health and vitality of your dog and lower your future veterinary bills.
Finally, we become very attached to our foster dogs and encourage you to send us pictures and tell us about their progress. We always remember each and every foster dog that passes through our doors, as well as the wonderful people who adopt them!.
If we have approved you to adopt one of our precious fosters, then you might also be an excellent candidate to be a foster home! This is a crucial need, so please let us know if you have room in your heart to do this. We will be with you every step of the way and will welcome you into our growing alliance of foster homes! The joy you will experience helping a sad, frightened little dog discover love, happiness and trust is immeasurable!