All dogs need a helping hand; whether it’s as a small puppy in a new home or as a rescue dog in need of medical treatment or socialization. When we look at the heart wrenching videos and photos on the web, many times we see small creatures that are weak and helpless, but one rescue shows that big dogs need love, too. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue’s mission is pretty self-explanatory—help big, fluffy dogs in need. Find out more about this Nashville-based rescue in the BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlight!
When & Why did you start?
Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping giant breed mixed breed dogs in need. We value dogs of all breeds, but we specialize in what the name says: big, fluffy dogs. We have volunteers in several states in the South and New England who work to help homeless big fluffy dogs find a home to call their own. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue works to save Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernards, Newfoundlands and their mixes from euthanasia.
Our dogs come in to rescue for many different reasons. Many were abandoned at high kill shelters in the South, some were turned in by owners who could not properly care for them, and still others are failed livestock guardian dogs. Regardless of their origins, our goal for every dog we have is the same: a safe, happy home where each dog is a well-loved member of the family. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue has its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee. We have volunteers in several states in the South and across New England.
What’s different about your rescue?
Big Fluffy Dog Rescue has a “No Dog Left Behind” Policy. That means if we take a big fluffy from a kennel at the shelter, we take any dog that is in there with him or her. We always take Momma’s with their babies. No Dog Left Behind!
What is the greatest success story or “win” that your rescue has had?
Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is a foster-based rescue that is entirely made up of volunteers. The mission is to rescue, as the name makes obvious, big fluffy dogs from kill shelters and other abusive and horrific circumstances, in order to place them in appropriate, safe and loving forever homes. However, the rescue also has an unwritten “no dog left behind” rule and therefore many other dogs find their way into rescue; from the tiny and fluffy to the massive and shorthaired. The rescue also does not shy away from dogs with significant medical and health issues and routinely takes in several heartworm positive dogs each month. All heartworm treatment, major surgeries, long term medical care, amputations and inpatient hospitalization is completed while the dog is in rescue and the bills for this can often jump into several thousand dollars each month, on top of the standard expense of basic vaccinations, spay/neuter, transport etc. Unfortunately when a landslide of “train wreck” dogs find their way into rescue, this financially forces the rescue to halt intake temporarily simply because the dogs in rescue must be cared for (and that care must be paid for) before more dogs can be pulled from shelters and placed in rescue. This is a heartbreaking quandary and one that haunts all of the volunteers in its wake. THIS is what the rescue would use extra funds for: to provide the necessary care of all of the critical and ill dogs in rescue AND be able to continue to save other dogs in the process.
All of that being said, there is also the less acknowledged “rescues” that occur when there are sufficient funds to save more dogs. Big Fluffy Dog Rescue is a dog rescue but the people and lives it touches with its ripple effect of good cannot be ignored. Foster parents of the dogs in rescue learn immeasurable lessons about patience, sacrifice and love. They open their homes to these, often times, scared and broken dogs, and find that the reward of watching them grow and flourish is a gift. These lessons are often passed on then to their children, loved ones and neighbors, and so the gift is passed on, and this is how change happens. Fosters can be forever changed by the presence of a foster dog and the varied and personal ways that those dogs change them, forever. Relationships are born and fostered in rescue. Fosters and rescue coordinators learn to work together, often become friends and support to one another as they work toward the common goal. Friendships are just another gift that the rescue provides without even meaning to do so. Forever families are often “rescued” by their newly adopted dog and often tell the rescue just that. A dog is more than a dog and they can heal heartache, renew hope, provide joy, and ignite a sense of purpose. It happens time and time again. Rescuing dogs is just as much about saving people, enriching lives and relationships and giving glimpses of hope and love to a world that sometimes grows blind to such pleasures.
What’s the most rewarding thing about working at your rescue?
The amazing adopters and fans we have. They are inspiring!
What can people do to help your rescue?
Adopt, Foster, Donate, Volunteer. All the information can be found at www.bigfluffydogs.com
A big THANK YOU to Big Fluffy Dog and all they do to support large breed and large mixed breed dogs in their area and beyond. We’re so happy they were the recipients of our Grand Prize donation in our recent Acts of Kindness Charity Photo Contest!
To read more inspiring stories, browse all of BestBullySticks Rescue Spotlights.