Rescue Overview

The BMDCGTC believes that those of us who love Berners are responsible for any Berner in trouble, whether or not it was produced by a breeder in our club. For this purpose, the club has established a Rescue Committee. Club members can support our rescue program by providing foster homes for rescue dogs, assisting with special fundraising events or directly donating to the rescue fund.

We are a small group of volunteers that feel strongly that every BMD deserves a wonderful home. To make this happen we are always in need of several things to help them along the way:

  • Great foster homes
  • Fabulous forever homes
  • Donations (money, leashes, toys, food, any supplies)

Rescue vs Rehome

A ”rescue” dog is a BMD that has been placed in a shelter, is a stray, has been abandoned or no longer cared for by the owner. Generally, these dogs don’t have any known medical or behavioral history and may have behavioral issues.

A “rehomed” dog is a BMD that can no longer remain with its owner and will be placed directly into a foster or permanent home. Often these are dogs with a known medical history and often even AKC papers.

If you want to surrender your BMD please contact your breeder first. Responsible breeders will assist you in “re-homing” your dog and we are happy to help such breeders locate potential homes for the dog. If you have contacted your breeder and they have declined to assist you, please be prepared to tell us who the breeder is. To relinquish your dog please contact our rescue chair. We must give priority to dogs that are in jeopardy, which usually means dogs from pounds or shelters or dogs that have been abandoned at a vet’s office. Due to our limited foster care ability, we ask for your patience and cooperation. We need time to arrange for a suitable foster home. It is unreasonable to call us and say that your dog needs to leave your home tomorrow or to call us two days before you leave on vacation. We endeavor to move the process along as quickly as possible – usually within 4 to 10 days.

Interested in Adopting?

If you want to adopt a BMD, please keep in mind that Berners are large, strong dogs bred for pulling carts. An adolescent who has had no training or a fearful, shy Berner can be a challenge to integrate into your home. Some dogs may come with health and/or orthopedic problems. It’s rare for a healthy, well-socialized, well-trained dog to be relinquished to rescue, though it sometimes occurs. If you’re simply looking for a bargain-Berner, this is not the route to take. If you’re looking to make a difference – to turn a dog’s life around, this route can bring you great joy. See some of the happy endings described below!

To be added to our list as a home interested in adopting, please email Coleen at [email protected]

Our goal is to match the right BMD with the right home. To do this, we use the answers to our short application as well as spending a fair amount of time talking with you. The process takes time, patience, and knowledge of the breed. We recommend you submit your application BEFORE you find a dog on our website that is a potential match, as it may take time for the right dog to come along. Once your application is received, it will be kept on file. When a suitable match comes to the rescue, you will be contacted, and a visit with the BMD in question will be arranged prior to placement. It is our responsibility to place each of our dogs in the home best suited for them, regardless of the order in which applications are received. Rescue is not a “first come, first serve” situation, and we appreciate your understanding that our goal is always to provide the best possible home we can for each dog we have so that they never have to come into rescue again. Not every dog is suitable for every home, no matter how good or loving a family is. We also expect that if the placement does not work out you will return the dog to our rescue group.

We do not have a blanket policy regarding fences for our rescue dogs. That said and all things being equal, those homes with secure fencing are likely to have a significant edge. You should also note that most of our rescue dogs are not good candidates for “invisible” (electronic) fencing.

We spay or neuter every dog before placement. Our adoption fees are used to cover costs and can vary. The dog may be examined by a vet if necessary, all shots will be brought up to date, and we will spay/neuter if not already done. Any detected or suspected health problems will be checked out and treated if possible.

The goal of any dog rescue program is to become extinct because there are no longer dogs in need of this help. However, until that day comes, please do your best to understand the requirements of responsible dog ownership. Carefully research the breeds in which you are interested. And, if you become one of the wonderful individuals who rescues a Berner, or any dog, and provides that animal with a loving, secure and dependable home, THANK YOU!