Georgia English Bulldog Rescue on legislative Dog Fight

25
Feb

Georgia English Bulldog Rescue on legislative Dog Fight

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Ruthann Phillips

Founder and Director, Georgia English Bulldog Rescue

Dear friends of English Bulldogs,

We are writing to you after news reports of a State Senate Bill that would designate the English Bulldog as the Official State Dog of Georgia. As part of our mission to educate the public about English Bulldogs and dog rescue, we want to ensure that legislators and potential adopters understand the true state of the English Bulldog breed in Georgia.

The English Bulldog suffers from its popularity in Georgia, and individual dogs become neglected and their medical conditions worsen from owners who were not fully informed of the costs and care requirements of this unique breed.

The last thing the English Bulldog needs is to be more popular.

As an organization, we are 100% committed to the rescue and care of English Bulldogs. As Georgians, we cheer our beloved University of Georgia Bulldogs every Saturday in the fall and take pride in Uga’s representation of our breed and our state. We understand the good motivations that underlie the effort to name the English Bulldog as the official state dog of Georgia, and appreciate the efforts of the Senators who brought it forth.

But we also want you to understand the strains that are put on our support system by the popularity of our favorite breed.

Georgia English Bulldog Rescue rehabilitates and re-homes English Bulldogs that are sick, neglected, abused, or injured.  Moreover, we provide a safe alternative to shelters for owners that are faced with the already difficult decision of finding a new home for their English bulldog.

We are literally the safety net for English Bulldogs in Georgia.

But that safety net is strained to the point where we have had to institute a waiting list for voluntary surrenders by owners. Many of our fellow rescues are unable to provide the high level of daily care and occasionally astronomical expense of the veterinary care required by even healthy English Bulldogs.

In 2015, Georgia English Bulldog Rescue, a volunteer organization funded by donations rescued 94 English Bulldogs from shelters and private individuals who could no longer care for their pets – a 40 percent increase from 2014.

Our veterinary bills alone last year exceeded $200,000.

It is safe to say nobody in Georgia does more to care for English Bulldogs than we do.

With that said, we hope that the General Assembly will be content with the English Bulldog remaining the beloved mascot of our flagship university, and the unofficial state dog.

As part of our mission, Georgia English Bulldog Rescue seeks to educate the public, and now public officials, about the level of care and financial commitment required by English Bulldogs.

Just last week, a puppy we took in named Pookie, was approved for prosthetic legs to help her live with shoulder and elbow deformities. This will cost thousands of dollars, and would be beyond the means of many prospective owners, but we are so devoted to our English Bulldogs that we take in dogs who need the care that only a dedicated English Bulldog rescue can provide.

We invite you to visit our website at www.GeorgiaEnglishBulldogRescue.org, where you can meet our foster dogs, learn more about the unique qualities of our English Bulldogs, as well as the level of care they require. If you’re considering adopting a bulldog, fostering is a great way to learn if your lifestyle is suited to the breed. If you simply want to snuggle with a beautiful English Bulldog, we invite you to our public events, and our primary yearly fundraiser, The Bully Ball on February 27, 2016 at the St. Regis in Buckhead, or even better to volunteer with us.

We believe that the proposal by State Rep. Joe Wilkinson, contained in House Bill 561, to name “any adoptable dog” as the Official State Dog of Georgia, honors the English Bulldogs we care for every day at Georgia English Bulldog Rescue and our alumni who have gone on to new forever homes.

We also believe Rep. Wilkinson’s bill will bring much-needed attention to the problem of pet overpopulation, and the need for spay and neuter, for responsible pet ownership, and for Georgians to consider adopting their next best friend.

Sincerely,

Ruthann Phillips

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