Meet Sarah, our puppy mill English Bulldog from Hungary we purchased from an online broker.
Many wonder why we decided to start this forum. Are we a big corporation? A web developer?
The answer is no. We started English Bulldog News because we had a passion for English Bulldogs. Once the internet became a foundation for finding answers to things, we wanted to start a forum where we could share this passion, and one where we could hold events and make things fun, to be more than just a forum- but a true bulldog obsessed community.
First and foremost, our mission here is to help rescue as many English Bulldogs as possible. How can we do this? By helping owners learn more about their breed, by helping future owners find the right bulldog for their family, by helping Bulldog Rescue Organizations place bulldogs for adoption, with donations, and educating others about Bulldog Rescue.
By creating a wonderful place where bulldog owners, future bulldog owners, bulldog lovers, bulldog breeders, rescue and shelters, could strike up friendly conversation, ask questions, show off their bullies with photos & give helpful tips to other bully lovers in need. We believe that information and education is the most important thing all of us can provide for current and future bulldog owners.
The idea of paying it forward and being here to give advice to all that come to us comes from Sarah. We will admit that many years ago we gave our beloved bully Sarah away. She was from a puppy mill in Hungary, (got her from an importer/broker-did not know any better) and had severe allergy problems once she turned about a year old. We did everything we could with the help of our veterinarian. She was allergic to almost everything seasonal- molds, droppings, dust.... and she was also allergic to 20 different foods. She would rub her face so much it would bleed. After the allergy tests came back, we proceeded with the allergy shots.
As you can see from the above picture, Sarah was miserable with allergies.
We had her wrinkles surgically removed from her face so that they would no longer get infected. We fed her the Rabbit prescription diet the vet gave us for her. But we did not know enough about how to care for her properly, even though we tried our hardest.
Sarah after getting her nose rope wrinkle removed so her face could breath.
At the time, we were traveling all throughout the USA for our job, and she was miserable in many places that have high allergens. Her allergy shots were based upon where we lived, so as soon as we left Tucson she fell apart. We felt that we did not have what it took to give her the home she deserved, and making her travel was not good or fair to her. We did not know what we could do. The shots, prescription food, meds, steriods- they were not helping her.
Eventually, we called our dear friend who we knew could give her the care she needed. This dear friend of mine worked in bulldog rescue and dedicated her life to the breed. Many of you may frown upon us for doing this, but we did it because we loved her like crazy and we knew our friend could care for her better than we could.
If only we had known then what we have learned here at English Bulldog News. Not from ourselves- no. From what we have learned from our members and fellow bulldog owners. We are certain we would have never made that choice to let her go. If we would have had the tools and support we needed to care for her, she would still be with us today. We now know that the website we purchased her from is an importer. We did not know or understand that she came from a puppy mill. Another reason to tell our story. I do not for one second ever regret getting her or letting her go, but I feel it is very important to share our story with others. There will always be people out there with questions that need the help of other bulldog owners, and we will all be there for them when they do!
No, Sarah never ended up in a rescue, but how many of them do? Simply because the owners are not prepared with the information they need to care for an English Bulldog? Because the owners just throw their arms up in the air and say, "I give up!!" I can tell you it is far too many.
If we can help just ONE owner with useful information or advice, maybe that bully will not end up in a shelter or rescue, and all of the hard work we put into the site everyday will be worth it. If we can help ONE shelter or rescue place a dog, then again, it will all be worth it. If we can donate even just ONE dollar to a rescue, it will surely be worth it. If we can save just ONE bulldog, it will, without a doubt, all be WORTH IT!
This article, and website, is dedicated to our Baby Girl Sarah Smile.
Don't be fooled by an adorable picture on the internet. This is Sarah's internet picture. The one that got us to 'order her online'!
All bulldogs are sweet and adorable- but you should never purchase a bulldog over the internet via a broker or from a pet store.
This is Sarah today. She is doing wonderfully and is a ripe old age of 9. She is now on a great diet, almost allergy free, and living in Tucson with one of my best friends who spoils her rotten. She is losing her eyesight but is still very playful and sweet as ever!
**UPDATE January 8th, 2013**
Sarah is now 11 years old. She continues to be proof that if you find the right food and care, even an unhealthy puppy mill dog can live a very long life with the right care and food.