Here at Bunny’s Buddies, we do things a lot differently than most other rescues, but all for good reason. While our adoption methods may be confusing, uncomfortable, unconventional or frustrating, we encourage you to read about our reasoning behind things. In time, if you are honest with yourself, I promise, things will make more sense the more you chew on them! Even if you do not rescue with Bunny’s Buddies, the below blog covers all of the realistic challenges you should be prepared to face regardless of where you get your next dog from.
When we first started this rescue, we wanted to adopt to just about anybody! You want a dog!? You got a dog! But, slowly, we had to learn various painful lessons on why that simply could not be how we ran our rescue anymore. The truth is, most people are not qualified to be pet parents, let alone rescue pet parents. Considering our dogs have a history rooted in betrayal and trauma, we had to fine-tune our process to ensure that our dogs were only going into homes of those prepared for them and to those who truly wanted to HELP a dog HEAL after years and years of neglect.
It is easy to find someone who wants a cute, sweet, loving, snuggly Golden Retriever, but what happens when the cuteness wears off, and you are left with a dog with behavioral issues to work through?
Most people will not actually put in the work required to heal these dogs, and for that reason, we have to be extremely cautious with whom we adopt to, and thus, the Rescue Mindset was created to weed out those not truly aligned with our mission, looking to rehabilitate a dog from trauma!
This mindset is truly so critical when selecting new homes for these dogs as it really shows you who is here for the right reasons and who is not.
WHAT IS A RESCUE MINDSET?
A rescue mindset means that you see a huge problem, millions of dogs are suffering, without families, betrayed and broken, and you want to be part of their happily ever after solution! You are here today, just ready to help, to be of service, and to give back to a life in need. You are ready to mend their broken spirit, heart and soul.
Your focus is not on what you want or need at all.
Your focus is only on assisting an animal in need that we feel would thrive in your environment. A rescue mindset is synonymous with a selfless dedication to alleviate an animal’s suffering and provide a better life. It transcends personal preferences or specific conditions that may be easier or better for you.
This is the heart of having a rescue mindset– just being here and asking how can I help?
Here, at Bunny’s Buddies, our process focuses entirely on finding the BEST enviornement for our dogs and your current pets. We thoroughly get to know your family, home, lifestyle, pets, kids, careers, and environment to do our best to match you with the dog that would enjoy YOU the most, however, no one can ever guarantee a dog will love their new environment, so our homes must be ready and willing to give the new dog some much-needed decompression time and a commitment that does not waiver, regardless of any issues that come their way.
Our #1 goal is to give these dogs a better life. To us, this process is NOT about what humans want. Instead, it is about getting these dogs into the BEST homes possible for them. We will heavily review your home; what you have to offer and then cross-check it with our available dogs, matching you with the dog we feel would do best in your home.
Sometimes, this can look very different than what you envisioned. Perhaps you applied for a Golden but we have another dog that we feel would do better in your environment. We would never place you with a dog that would not thrive in your home.
Perhaps you see a male Golden you LOVE online, you NEED him! But, you tell us all about your current home and we feel he is going to clash with your other pets and possibly harm your children due to his large size and wild nature. That would not be your best match, however, we have 97 other dogs and we are confident we have a better match for you! Trust our process, I promise it will change your life in the best possible way! Let fate work it’s magic!
We run our rescue this way to set everyone up for success! You! The new dog! Current dogs! And the whole family! Open your heart, focus on giving back and know that there is no mistake. You always end up with the dog meant for you.
ARE YOU READY TO RESCUE? ASK YOURSELF THIS: WHY AM I APPLYING?
Am I applying because I want a dog? My dog needs a friend? My kids want a dog? I want a new companion animal? OR Am I applying because my heart is broken to see how many dogs have been failed, and I just want to help one that could benefit from what I have to offer?
Wanting a cute companion is very different then wanting to pour blood, sweat and tears into rehabilitating a dog from trauma. WE consider one shopping for a new pet versus giving back to a dog in need.
99.99% of our applications are people who saw a cute dog they wanted and they have no desire to actually invest effort into their healing. This is why most applications cannot be used.
The focus is on one’s wants and not simply to support a dog’s healing. We are not saying people can’t want what they want. It’s simply not what rescue means to us and we cannot assist with those needs as our focus is entirely on rehabilitating these animals.
WHY CAN’T I CHOOSE THE DOG I ADOPT?
Many people apply after seeing a dog online they feel called to. This is more than fine but, please know, many people feel called to the same exact dog and we can’t place the same dog to everyone that feels a connection. You should also keep in mind that this connection is being created off minimal information, in your own mind. What is going to happen when the dog arrives and it goes completely different than how you saw it going? What happens when there is no actual connection between you and this dog in real life?
What happens when this dog you romanticized does not like your other dog or your partner? Sadly, when things don’t go as planned, this is what causes most people to surrender the dog back to us, claiming it is not the right fit. Then, the dog is traumatized, all over again.
While you are welcome to note things you like about certain dogs, we very much enjoy getting to know you in that way; we ask that your help not be conditional to size, breed, age, or sex, as none of those should stand in your way if you are here truly wanting to just be of service. If your compassion is conditional then it shows us that you are not just here to help which can and will cause problems later when the dog you adopt, changes and becomes something you are not willing to commit to.
You say you want a friendly male Golden to compliment your female Golden. The two start off great! Best friends! But, 3 months in, the friendly male Golden begins to get comfy in his new found home. A bit too comfy and he starts to resource guard your couch or his food and hes no longer friendly. You are scared of him which he senses and his behavorial issues progress to biting your dog or you!
Then what? Those people, with their conditions, will quit and the dog will be traumtaized and betrayed all over again. For this reason, we cannot adopt to anyone with ANY expectations or needs as a condition to their commitment to already failed animals.
UNDERSTANDING WHAT A RESCUE MINDET IS NOT–
Are you looking to adopt a new dog you can travel with? Does your child beg you for a cuddly Golden? Are you looking for a new dog who will be BEST friends with your current pet? A dog for your dog? A dog that loves kids? A dog that won’t require much work?! A dog that is potty trained? And, will get along with your cat?
If so, we are NOT the group for you, as you are looking for things that we will never ask of our dogs, nor promise, as we know animals are unique and unpredictable. Especially animals from a traumatic background. These dogs need help, not a to-do list. We realize that your enviornment may not be suitable for all types of dogs but that is what our screening process is for, to professionally assess things A-Z to see which pup would do best in your home.
Even when we do our best to match dogs to homes, our applicants must also know that sometimes we end up with dogs and issues we may not be prepared for, that seemingly come out of no where. All of our homes must be aware that animals can and do change and we have to know that your commitment will not. Anyone with a conditional commitment or limitations, simply cannot work as it is too great of risk to subject our dogs to, yet again.
Additionally, it is critical to keep in mind that any rescue or breeder promising you health, behavior, demeanor, personality, or anything else is flat-out decieving you, and you must know that everything they are promising you can and WILL change, and your commitment cannot. Pets are for LIFE! For that reason, we cannot adopt to anyone who has expectations of these poor animals. They have had a lifetime of those, and as soon as they failed them, they were left for dead.
WHAT A RESCUE MINDSET ISN’T–
The below are all set expectations of a traumatized and betrayed animal that simply needs help.
- My kids want a small dog.
- I only have experience with a Golden, so that’s all I can help.
- I’d be interested if only the dog could XYZ.
- I’d be interested if only the dog were younger, I want more time with the dog.
- I’d be interested in one of your dogs without trauma to be better around my kids.
- My mom just lost her Golden and wants a new companion. She can only help a Golden.
- I love Goldens, so I can only help a Golden.
- My home is small, so I need a small dog.
- I don’t have a yard, so I need a calm dog.
- My dog only likes dogs that look like him, so I can only help a breed similar to his.
- I can only help a non-shedding dog.
- I need a small dog so I can travel with them.
- I need a calm dog bc my dog doesn’t like hyper dogs.
- I can help a dog but without any health issues.
- I prefer large breeds as I live an active lifestyle.
- I can help a dog who won’t run out the front door.
- I can help a dog, but they must like my current dog.
- I can help a dog that’s good with cats only.
- I trust your process fully, except I want or need XYZ.
- My grandparents are looking for a companion animal.
- We road trip a lot so we need a dog good in the car.
- I can help a dog a little, but I cannot handle behavioral issues.
- I can help a dog but only if it’s what I expect and prefer.
- I want a Golden bc I love their demeanor and sweet nature.
- I can only help a Pomeranian as it reminds me of my past dog.
- I only have rescues so I know the mindset but I really want a Golden this time around.
Do you have needs us or the dog must meet for you to rescue? Even if they’re seemingly fair to you? If so, please do not apply. This process is not about us. It never was. It’s all about their healing. We understand everyone may not align here and that is fine but this is how we run our rescue.
We do find that many people like to apply for a small dog because they have a smaller home but large dogs can enjoy a small home too! Usually, we find, it’s that people just do not want to get out and walk their dogs which is not a good home for our dogs, one that is looking to invest minimal effort. So you can mention that you would like a small dog but we will want to know the why behind that? Why can you only have a small dog? Is it an actual lease agreement issue or is it stemming from an expectation you have?
Please DO apply if you can offer a small dog a home while remaining open to trusting our process! We do factor in housing restrictions but we cannot cater to someone just wanting a small dog because their kids want one or you think they’re easier or less work. What happens when they become too high energy and more work than you planned for? What happens when they don’t like your kids? What happens when they do not like to travel as planned? There are reasons behind all of our requirements.
WHY CANT I ASK QUESTIONS?
The problem with questions is they stem from an expectation. Questions may seem harmless and responsible but the truth is, they do more harm then help for animals and here is why. You decide you want to rescue a dog, but, you must prepare! So, to do that, you will ask 500 questions and get everything organized and perfect for the new dog! Sounds great right!? The problem is, this leaves no room for change. Homes that want to control the rescue process’ outcome, really struggle with it because it is so in fluxx, it cannot be predicted or controlled. To succeed, you really have to get out of your own way, let go of your needs and have faith in yourself that you can figure everything out. We can tell you all we know about a dog but are you prepared for that to all change entirely?
- What happens when we tell you the dog is low energy but he becomes high energy 5 months in?
- What happens when we promise you a dog good with cats but he chases your cat and your cat hates it?
- What happens when we tell you the dog is great with kids but then bites yours?
- What happens if we tell you the dog is 5 but your vet later believes hes really 9?
- What if we tell you the dog LOVES to go on jogs but then, 1 year in he loses his leg or stops wanting to run?
- What happens if we tell you the small dog will be a good apartment dog but he becomes a wild maniac and needs 3 trips to the dog park a day?
- What happens if we tell you the dog is potty trained but the home change causes him to forget all he learned?
As you can see, answering questions gives people a false sense of what to expect and as soon as your expectations are not met, this is what results in a surrender for most people. We will not do this to our dogs as they have already been failed. So, we can only adopt to people who know that the outcome they expect, is 100% on them.
If you want a dog good with cats, please plan to train everyone to acomplish that.
If you want a dog good with kids, please plan to set everyone up for safety and success while you work to establish that new relationship, organiclly.
While questions feel innocent, for us, they really just create expectations we are not willing to place onto our survivor pups. Put in the work and create the outcome you want!
WHY DOGS ARE SURRENDERED-
Human expectations are what’s failing man’s best friend and here at Bunny’s Buddies, we want to stop that cycle for good and the only way that can happen is if we, humans, change our expectations of animals 100%. We have over 97 dogs in our care right now, all surrendered for similar reasons. People got too busy, people didn’t want to excercise them, expected the dog to be more calm, the dog bit someone, the dog bit the kid, no matter the reason, the dog is always to blame and behind that lies expectations. If only the dog didn’t bite, we could have kept the dog. Dogs should be for life, they are family and there should be no situation that results in their betrayal.
Surrending an animal is not only traumatic for the dog, but also to us as a rescue responsible for their care. I spent over $10,000 getting our last surrender picked up. People think “oh if it doesn’t work out it’ll be no big deal“ but no, it’s a huge chaotic traumatizing-for-all ordeal. This is why we are extremely cautious of whom we work with.
WHY DO YOU POST DOG PHOTOS IF WE CANNOT CHOOSE THE DOG?
People also ask us why we post dog photos if people can’t choose the dog they rescue. That answer is simple! Their stories must be told! It’s always an educational opportunity and yes, we want people to feel called to help! Their stories. The look in their eyes. Their pain. It must be shown as that is how people become motivated to step up. When we FEEL. Our request is quite simple, though; you just can’t feel for one dog only as that is conditional compassion. We love all of our dogs so so much, all of our dogs are worthy of your care. So, when people feel some of our dogs are not worthy, that is not a home we want to place any dog into.
WHY I DISLIKE MEET AND GREETS + DOG PROFILES–
I just came across a rescue that does a meet and greet with the new dog and your current dogs. Sounds good on paper, but this is such a false sense of security that people really rely on when committing and shouldn’t! What happens when things change? I’ve had dogs hate each other from day one, but that later grow into best friends. I’ve had dogs start as best friends and then, a year later, try to kill each other.
An initial meet and greet comes down to so many things. Both dog’s energy. The human’s energy. The environment. The noise and stress level. The introduction method used. The “territory”. The dog’s mood that day. The dog’s stress and how they feel physically. Are they in pain for any reason? Did they sleep poorly last night? What traumas do they have?
None of the above will ever be the same, forever. Things are going to change and this is something meet and greets leave no space for. By doing meet and greets it installs a totally false sense of security and puts the responsibility to get along on all of the wrong things. It’s not the dog’s job to get along or to fit into our life perfectly. It’s our job to create a safe environment for all dogs to bond, organically, slowly, in time, and to continue to lead that, forever!
This is also why we never promise anything for our dogs. Even if I know a dog LOVES kids, I will never promise they LOVE kids. I will note that they like kids but ultimatley it is on the adults to manage and create a safe enviornment for all. So many rescues promise a dog is good with dogs or cats, all to find out the dog HATES that one dog or one cat. Then what? Most people will take the dog back to the rescue, pissed that it was not true!
When I adopted Jeju, the rescue told me he was great with every single dog he ever met. And that was true, for about 5 months. Then, he started snarling and showing his teeth to Parker, my sweetest dog! No one could have predicted that, thankfully, I knew this was possible and I was prepared to work through that. Someone else may have then surrendered Jeju and added to his trauma.
Same with my dog Waffles and Hudson. They never were fans of eachother but we were able to co-exist for 3 years until one day, a fight broke out over a toy. Dogs are no different than us humans. Do we love everyone? No. It is not fair to expect dogs do the same. Just like we have people we gravitate or avoid, dogs and other animals do the same. No one can promise you anything, no breeder or rescue so while we do our best to inform you, our #1 goal is to ensure all applicants are going into rescue with a realistic and prepared mindset.
HOW YOU CAN HELP & WHAT IT TAKES–
Study this blog and then, once it truly makes sense to you, apply!!! Tell us all about yourself, your lifestyle, your routine, your pets and your family! You’re welcome also to mention breeds you like. We just can’t promise we’d have that specific dog available or that you’d be their chosen match so please only apply if you are truly open to any dog we match you with 100%. We always strive to make matches come true but again, we cannot match one dog to multiple people and we do have to ensure your home is the right fit for the dog.
As different as all of our dogs are, at the end of the day, they all require the same commitment. They will all need training, healthy meals, vet care, attention, leadership, time, money, room for mistakes, room for change, patience, support, and love. Most people apply wanting to get a dog that’s easy or affordable but there is no one dog that we could ever promise would be easier than another and that defeats the purpose of rescue. Rescue is to save. All applicants must be prepared to put in the work with their current pets and routine. Rescue is a huge commitment and there is only one way to go about it! To just go all in, with the only goal being, to save one more dog’s life
YES, WE DENY HOMES, EVEN IN A CRISIS. HERE’S WHY–
We adopt to all of the USA and Canada. If something goes wrong, we cannot quickly access the dog. We usually are given zero notice, and people tell us to come get their dogs.
People often don’t have any respect for us and demand immediate action we physically cannot provide that fast. Our team frantically tries to find transport and IF we can find it, it can cost us over $10,000. We also had one person tell us they would take their dog to the vet to be euthanized if we couldn’t pick the dog up fast enough. Who we adopt to is critical and sadly, not every application is one we can use. If we pick up on red flags or commitment issues, we will not move forward with the application.
I can only save dogs I have reliable + respectful homes for, which is the actual crisis. These homes are hard to find.
We also deny homes that are unable to come up with solutions or expect us to solve their problems. All dogs need training, and we’re unfortunately not in a position to train 600+ dogs once they go home. This is, again, where confidence, trust, and leadership factor in. When things go wrong, will you keep your word and get a trainer? Or will you leave it to us to fix?
We currently have one home that flat out won’t get their dog training, and they also won’t give me the dog back to get the dog training. I wish I never adopted to them because now I have a dog who needs help and no access to him. We have to involve attorneys, which is expensive and time-consuming, all because they didn’t want to keep their word and cooperate.
EXCUSES WE HEAR A LOT-
I can’t because my house is too small, my husband isn’t on board, I’m traveling right now, I’m too busy, I don’t want to risk the dogs not getting along, I have no time, I’ll wait until the kids are older, it’s just not in the budget, I’m moving soon, I don’t have a yard, my dog doesn’t like other dogs, things are good right now, and I don’t wanna mess it up, I’m starting a new job soon, I have to finish school, I’m too sad over our last dog dying, the fear of the unknown scares me…
While all of these are valid thoughts, we all have the option to shift into a new story IF WE WANT TO.
Things might not be perfect, but I can help a dog if I just set up XYZ. It first requires a genuine desire to shift your thinking. And then, pay attention to how many toxic thoughts you have around the topic.
Choose a more empowering story. You CAN do anything you set your mind to… work on telling a new story and see how much better life goes.
I can’t rescue until my kids are older. It’s too risky. It would require too much work.
I have kids and I have dogs. It’s my duty to keep both safe. I am a savvy, capable person. I can get baby gates and ensure both are kept safe. I can do anything I set my mind to and succeed! It’s added work but the outcome is worth it to me.
You choose the story. You choose whether you sink or swim. Fumble or fly! I can promise you that with the right mindset, you will 100% succeed at rescue. The only ones who fail are those who go into it unsure and with doubts. Those people should work through those fears before bringing any new animal into the home.
WHAT RESCUE MEANS TO US-
Rescue is a selfless act of service. A temporary sacrifice of your wants and wishes to save a dog from being killed. It’s giving yourself, fully, to a soul in need. It’s about giving someone something they can never repay you for. It’s about something beyond yourself. Too many people have it backwards. “I’ll apply when I see the perfect dog. When the time is right. When we move into a bigger house…” No. If you love animals, the time is always now! In the big picture, the sacrifices are minimal. A few months of hard work for a lifetime of love with your new rescue. I can promise you that rescue is the best thing I ever did and I will continue to push people to lead with selfless, unconditional love!
At Bunny’s Buddies Dog Rescue, this mindset is not just a philosophy; it’s our way of life. It’s a commitment to compassion, resilience, and unwavering support, ensuring that every rescued dog receives the opportunity for a fulfilling life filled with love and understanding. If you agree, we would LOVE to review your application today and get you matched with a pup in need. APPLY NOW!
Thank you for reading!