Pet Pointers: Adopting a Brittany spaniel
Each year millions of dogs are surrendered to shelters and rescue groups with 25 percent of these animals being purebreds. Like many other breeds there is an organization dedicated to helping find forever homes for Brittany spaniels, today we'll learn more in this edition of Pet Pointers.
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The Brittany is a beautiful lively agile sporting dog with an easy manor and willingness to please. But what makes them so wonderful is also the cause of their surrender in many cases. Each year hundreds of beautiful dogs are given up because their owners simply have unrealistic expectations. Exercise and obedience training are crucial for a harmonious relationship between canine and human and it takes a little effort from both.
Dave Beecher, the New York coordinator for the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network, has fostered more than 30 Britts over the last 10 years and says sometimes people just don't fully understand the breed or the commitment to lifelong care.
"People give up dogs for a bunch of reasons, but the main reason is people don't understand the breed or what the dog is like, the amount of energy they have, the amount of time it takes to train them. Owning a dog requires something of the person who owns the animal, they have to care for it and train it.
These things don't happen overnight," Beecher said.
The Brittany is also commonly found in puppy mills where dogs are stacked in crates 3 or more high. Beecher's own dog Eddie was rescued along with 12 other dogs, from a puppy mill in Pennsylvania with urine stained fur in filthy conditions.
With the help of hundreds of volunteer foster families across the country, in 2009 NBRAN found forever homes for 419 dogs of the more than 500 taken in. There are currently over 150 dogs available for adoption on their website, with more coming in regularly. Beecher says volunteers are still needed to help.
"Fostering is something we really need. You bring a dog into your home and teach them how to live in normal circumstances. Many of these dogs come from shelters or are strays. The fosters job is to evaluate that dog and the potential home they will be going to," said Beecher.
If you think a Brit is right for you or you'd like more information about the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network go to nbran.org.