|We believe every dog is a little piece of God ~ entrusted into our care. We strive to find people who will treat the dogs with love and respect and be open to learning life's lessons together. These people will appreciate and welcome this responsibility.|
|How we are able to operate?|
|We are a non-profit organization staffed primarily by volunteers. We receive funds from charitable donations of generous Boxer lovers, adoption fees, and soon, the profits from the sale of our T-shirts, caps and mugs and pet care products. We also charge a $225 adoption fee to help defray our costs, (Sometimes we spend hundreds, if not thousands of dollars to help an injured or sick dog.)|
|What we do for our Boxers|
|Adoption services: We place hundreds of Boxers of all ages each year into loving homes|
|Medical services: Most Boxers out of animal shelters are spayed or neutered by licensed veterinarians contracted through those facilities. Owner give-ups, strays and abandoned dogs are taken care of at our private veterinarians. We strive to treat any medical problem that we are aware of prior to placement. Occasionally, due to our limited funds, we do place an animal with an individual who is willing to take care of the additional medical expenses.|
Evaluations: We evaluate all our dogs for temperament. If needed, a trainer is consulted who will assess personality and placement options. Tony, one of our trainers, may offer a first home visit free to new owners in our area.
Why a $225 Donation?
From time to time we're questioned about our requiring a donation be made to the rescue at the time a dog is adopted. For each person who asks the question, undoubtedly there are many others who never verbalize it but who wonder if we aren't doing the dogs in our care a disservice by requiring such a donation. Those who ask the question generally offer reasoning something like this: After all, you are a rescue. Isn't your goal to find homes for the dogs? When you can purchase a boxer puppy for just a little more than the amount of the required adoption donation, aren't there people who might adopt a dog who instead buy a puppy because of the adoption fee? Shouldn't a rescue's goal be to find homes for dogs instead of looking to make a profit from the people seeking to adopt a dog? These are valid questions and we would like to address them.
Our Goal - Loving Homes
First, it is true that, as a rescue, our goal is to find new homes for the dogs in our care. But, we're not looking for just any home willing to take a dog. Most of our dogs have had at least one prior home that didn't work out. We don't want to place them into another home that will not be a home for life. That's why there are a number of requirements for adopting a dog from BRLA set forth in the adoption agreement, why each applicant seeking to adopt a dog is required to answer a number of questions in the application submitted to us and why each applicant is interviewed before we even schedule an appointment to visit the kennel and meet the dogs available for adoption.
The Donation - One of Many Requirements
Among the requirements is that the dog be allowed to sleep indoors. While boxers enjoy outdoor activities and a great deal of exercise that generally comes through walks or outdoor play, they are very much "people" dogs and both want and need to be treated like members of the family. Our years of experience with these dogs has taught us that they are not happy being left to sleep in a garage our in a doghouse outside, separated from the rest of the family. More than any other requirement, this is the one that most often stands in the way of an adoption and is the one that, if we were to do away with it, would allow us to make a significant number of additional placements. We don't change the requirement, however, for the simple reason that we know it is in the best interest of our dogs. A home which requires a dog to spend day and night outside is not a home in which one of our dogs will thrive and be happy. So, we adhere to this requirement despite the fact that it limits the number of dogs we are able to place.
It is the same reasoning that causes us to require a monetary donation in conjunction with the adoption of a dog. The homes we're looking for are those in which a dog will be given the love and care it both needs and deserves. This includes providing for the dog's physical needs by providing food, shelter and veterinary care. It also includes providing adequate socialization which involves spending time with the dog, working with him or her in terms of training and, for some dogs, engaging a professional trainer or behaviorist to assist with socialization. Adopting a dog is a commitment of both time and monetary resources. Veterinary care, training classes and even dog food cost money and a person who doesn't have or isn't willing to spend the money necessary to provide for a dog's needs should not adopt a dog in the first place. At some point in his or her life, it isn't unusual for any pet to have a medical need that requires veterinary care that costs more than the amount of our adoption fee. Any household that is not prepared to make this type of expenditure on a dog's behalf is not a home into which we want to place one of our dogs.
Adopt from Rescue or Purchase a Puppy?
It is true that boxer puppies can be purchased quite cheaply. Generally, these puppies are produced by unprofessional breeders looking for a quick profit. Sadly, any money they make is at the expense of the dogs they own and the puppies they produce. They are unconcerned with advancing the breed standards and can offer cheap puppies for sale by neglecting needed medical care for both mother and puppies. If medical care for an obviously sick puppy would cost more than the amount for which the young dog could be sold, the puppy is simply killed. Other puppies with medical conditions that aren't so obvious are sold to unwitting buyers who discover the condition after they've purchased the dog. Some of these buyers spend the money necessary to treat the dog and the "bargain" puppy turns out to be not such a bargain, after all. Others opt to "cut their losses" and get rid of the young dog, most often dumping him or her at a shelter or simply turning the dog out into the streets. Many of these innocent creatures die, having lived short lives that involved little love and far too much suffering. A few find their way to us. We give them food and shelter and, often, the first love they've ever known. We provide for their medical care and, when they are healthy, try to find them a new home.
While no rescue, shelter or breeder can ever be absolutely certain that a dog being placed or sold doesn't have a health condition that is not apparent when the dog is being placed but that will surface in the future, we make every effort to make certain that the dogs we place are healthy. If we are aware of any issue with a dog's health, the person or family interested in adopting the dog is made aware of it prior to the adoption.
The Donation - Serving an Additional Purpose
In addition to being a factor in helping us know that a person or family adopting a dog is truly willing to commit to the dog, the adoption fee helps pay the expenses of the rescue and is one source of revenue that ensures we can continue to operate and will be here to save other dogs in need. They aren't actually a "profit," however. While these donations amount to a significant portion of our annual budget, they cover roughly only half of the organization's expenses. The remainder of the funds needed for BRLA to continue to operate come from donations. We have no large corporate backers and receive no government funding. For the most part, our donors are families or individuals who know that the dogs whose lives we save are deserving of a second chance because they have adopted a dog from us themselves and want to make sure all of our dogs are given the opportunity to become members of a family in which they will be cherished for life. The same is true of our volunteers. They give countless hours and drive tens of thousands of miles each year to save dogs about to be killed at a shelter or being thrown away by owners who no longer want them. It's impossible to place a dollar amount on the value of their services. But, if we could, it undoubtedly would be our largest source of revenue. The love they have for each of the dogs the rescue cares for coupled with the monetary value that might be attributed to their efforts makes the dedication of our volunteers by far our largest asset and the one that doesn't appear on any balance sheet.
Since volunteers do so much of the work involved in caring for our dogs, our largest single expense is medical care. Despite the assistance we receive from caring veterinarians, some of whom donate or discount their services, we generally spend in excess of $100,000 each year for veterinary care for our dogs. In addition to the many dogs who receive treatment for an illness or injury, each dog we place is spayed or neutered and current on vaccinations. Boxers are often used as "bait" to train dogs used in the illegal and growing dog fighting circuit. Others come to us with injuries suffered from being hit by a car or abused by a former owner. We have cared for dogs with practically every injury or condition imaginable and have nursed dogs following surgeries as simple as a few sutures and extensive as the amputation of a limb. The task of raising the funds to meet the demand for medical needs grows more difficult each year as more and more dogs find themselves abandoned and in need of our care. But, we are committed to providing each dog in our care with the medical attention it needs. And, we are intent that each dog be placed into a home just as committed to providing for its future medical needs.
Conclusion: A Loving Home for Each Dog & Resources to Assist Future Dogs in Need
Yes, we're looking for homes for the dogs in our care. But, we're not looking for just any home. Placing one of our dogs with a family that isn't committed to him, where he'll be neglected or turned out the first time there's a medical need or a behavior problem that would take time and effort to correct would be a great disservice to the dog. Additionally, it would mean all the time and effort our volunteers have spent saving and caring for the dog, plus all the money our donors have spent providing for the dog's needs, has been wasted. The home we're looking for is one in which the dog will be loved, where she'll receive the care she needs, where an individual or family is willing to commit to her for life. While there's nothing we can do to guaranty that all of our dogs will end up in this type of home, our requirements for adopting a dog from us, including a mandatory donation, are the best means we have of ensuring that our dogs are going to the type of home they truly deserve. The monetary donation additionally is a source of funding for Boxer Rescue Los Angeles and a means of ensuring that we will be here to care for other abandoned boxers in the future and be available to find each of them the home he or she deserves.