Frequently Asked Questions
about Brittanys and Rescue
about Brittanys and Rescue
WHAT IS RESCUE?
American Brittany Rescue, Inc. is a nationwide group of over 500 Brittany friends, breeders, owners, and competitors who volunteer their time and effort to provide veterinary care, evaluation, and finding adoptive homes for Brittanys who have found themselves abandoned, unwanted or lost. ABR volunteers place hundreds of Brittanys every year across the U.S. and Canada, in addition to providing information on the breed and advice to Brittany owners and prospective owners.
WHY DO YOUR VOLUNTEERS DO BRITTANY RESCUE?
Our volunteers are all fans of the breed. Many of us are breeders and/or we compete with our Brittanys in shows, field trials, hunt tests, obedience, agility, or other endeavors. Nearly all of us own at least one Brittany ourselves. We feel compelled to help the members of our breed that cannot help themselves. We don’t want to see healthy, purebred, Brittanys needlessly destroyed in shelters when they can become happy family companions.
WHERE DO RESCUED BRITTANYS COME FROM?
Some come from shelters who call rescue volunteers when they have a Brittany needing a home, some are surrendered by their owners for a variety of reasons. Some are strays and we’ll just never know their story. Many shelters call the rescue volunteer in their area because releasing dogs to rescue frees up space in the shelter without putting an animal down. Brittanys don’t seem to do well in shelters and we are very grateful to those animal control workers who help Brittanys by calling rescue.
WHY WOULD SOMEONE SURRENDER THEIR BRITTANY?
Some Brittanys are surrendered because of a family allergy, illness, death, divorce or a move to a place where no dogs are allowed. While the rescue volunteer taking in the dog makes every effort to find out exactly what the reasons are, we don’t always know the whole story when we get a new dog in. For this reason rescued Brittanys stay in a foster home for a period of time to be assessed before placement. One of the most common reasons for giving up a Brittany seems to be that a puppy was purchased by someone who didn’t know anything about Brittanys and was unprepared for the dog it would become. Brittanys are smart and well capable of amusing themselves. If they’re left alone for long periods of time and/or neglected, they can exhibit undesirable behaviors in order to get your attention. Brittanys can make excellent family pets and companions, but they are not for everyone. Puppies of all breeds are cute, but they don’t stay puppies very long. If you’ve never owned a Brittany, be sure to read Choosing A Brittany, talk to Brittany owners and fanciers, and meet some dogs before making the decision to add one to your family.
ARE THE BRITTANYS YOU PLACE HEALTHY?
All dogs who go through rescue are first seen by a veterinarian. They are spayed/neutered, their shots are brought up to date and most are heartworm tested. Although we sometimes get dogs who have such severe health problems that they are judged not to be placeable, most medical conditions can be treated so that the dog will be healthy and ready for placement.
DON’T RESCUE DOGS HAVE A LOT OF PROBLEMS?
Some dogs are surrendered to rescue because of problems with the people who owned them. Some have been neglected and many need training, but Brittanys who go through American Brittany Rescue spend at least a week in foster care before we place them. They are evaluated and assessed so we know what their needs are. If a dog has special problems, the foster home will let you know what they are. Fortunately, Brittanys are very adaptable and can adjust to almost any situation. ABR volunteers are committed to placing healthy dogs with good temperaments. Many of these dogs are untrained, but most time they respond very well if given a loving home and an atmosphere where they are told that their people love to be with them when they act properly and no one wants to be with them when they misbehave. We do recommend that anyone who takes a Brittany find a good obedience class as soon as possible after adoption. This provides a wonderful place to bond with your new dog and lay down the groundwork for who’s in charge (you) and who’s not (the Brittany.)
I WANT A BRITTANY TO HUNT WITH. CAN I GET ONE THROUGH RESCUE?
Although many rescued dogs do hunt with their new families, we can never be certain that a rescued dog will want or be able to hunt. Sometimes they have had very bad experiences in the field that brought them into rescue. If finding a dog to hunt with is your first priority, we recommend going to a responsible breeder where you will be able to get a dog whose pedigree you’re certain about, and whose history you will know. The American Brittany Club secretary can give you a breeder referral.
If you’d like to find a family companion who MAY want to hunt with you, rescue will be happy to help you find one. Although finding a home for our dogs where they will be part of the family is our first priority, we’re always pleased when they find homes with family members who also want to take them hunting.
CAN I GET A PUPPY?
Puppies don’t often come into rescue. The most common dogs are 2-6 years old. Remember that there are pros and cons to getting a puppy. Most often we are told that people want a puppy so they can bond with their dog more easily. Bonding with a new family isn’t a problem for Brittanys of any age, they all adore “their” people! Consider the advantages of adopting an older dog — while no one can deny that all puppies are cute, who wouldn’t mind missing out on the chewing and housebreaking stages? In addition, the activity level and personality of an older dog are much easier to ascertain, so you can be confident you’ve found just the right dog for your household and lifestyle.
WILL AN OLDER DOG BOND WITH ME / MY FAMILY?
The Brittany’s family is very important to him. While Brittanys can be very attached and loyal to their owners, most also have no problem adjusting to new situations and bond easily with new people. We have placed dogs 10 years old and more that have had no trouble adjusting to a new home, new rules and new people.
DO BRITTANYS SHED?
All dogs shed, some more than others. A Brittany’s shedding can be kept to a minimum with a good brushing once or twice a week.
IS IT TRUE THAT BRITTANYS ARE REALLY HYPER?
Most Brittanys are active dogs. They are sporting dogs, bred to run for long periods of time hunting game. Very many do well with a medium sized yard and a good walk every so often. Some require more exercise and a few are just couch potatoes. Almost all of them, though, just love lying around the house with their family. We have placed Brittanys with families in apartments or townhouses, but most will do better with more room than that.
ARE BRITTANYS GOOD WITH CHILDREN / CATS / OTHER DOGS?
As a general rule, Brittanys get along with almost anyone. They are very social. Of course, this varies with individual dogs. Most Brittanys get along well with other dogs and like children very much. We recommend that families with small children consider adopting an older dog since young dogs can be very active and may jump and just overwhelm young children. The American Brittany Rescue volunteer working with each dog will know its particular needs, likes, and dislikes.
WHAT IS THE COST TO ADOPT A RESCUE DOG?
ABR’s dogs are completely vetted before we place them. Their shots are brought up to date; they are altered if needed; they are heartworm tested (and treated if appropriate); they are wormed and microchipped. Many dogs need to have teeth cleaned or other minor surgical procedures which are also done prior to adoption.
The adoption fee ranges from $275 – $425 depending on the vet expenses in the state and if a specific dog’s expenses have been much greater than the adoption fee, we may ask the adopter to make a contribution toward that. In theory, this fee would cover the expenses for each dog. But that’s not always the case.
If you adopt a dog who is too young to alter, you will be asked to make a spay/neuter deposit also. This will be returned to you when you have proof that the dog has been altered.
We do make considerations for dogs with special needs and we have the Senior Companion Program for older adopters who adopt older dogs. Dogs eligible to have their adoption fee waived under this program are designated as such on their foster page. You can find information about the Senior Companion Program here. For more specific information about a particular dog, contact the volunteer who is fostering the dog you are interested in.
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T WORK OUT?
The purpose of the foster home is to provide a place for us to evaluate each dog and learn as much about him as possible. This will help us decide exactly what type of situation will be best for him and match him to the right adoptive family. ABR volunteers put a great deal of effort into to matching adopters with the right dog – and finding the right home for each dog. The adoption application will give us some information about you, and the ABR volunteer who works with you will ask more questions. This information will help us find the Brittany who will fit into your family. After an adoption, ABR will always be available to answer questions and offer any support the new family might need. If, for any reason, the new family finds that they can no longer take care of their dog, ABR will take the dog back. If no space is immediately available, we will start looking for a new home.