Visit Border Collie Rescue & Rehab at this year’s North Texas Irish Festival (NTIF) March 6-8 for a heartwarming experience. The bond between humans and their pets is so strong (they call dogs ‘man’s best friend’) and it’s easy to fall in love or find your own BFF here. The NTIF Rescue Building at Fair Park has adorable dogs, cats, and other type pets that are all looking for a forever home.
Warning: Do not take your children into the Rescue Building (Grand Building) If you’re not in the market for a pet!
One of my favorite areas there is the Border Collie Rescue & Rehab booth, where volunteers are eager to share their knowledge and stories with us. Since the NTIF Rescue Building is the largest annual city event in Dallas to feature adoptable pets and supplies, there are many other breeds vying for your attention. But I’ve owned several Border Collies, both of them rescues, so this is my favorite stop.
Border Collie Rescue & Rehab
The nonprofit is a network of volunteers who foster the collies and related breeds. That includes some who have been abandoned or mistreated—while they wait for a permanent home. We asked one of the Dallas agency’s founders, Deanne Harris, to tell us more about the group she helped organize in 2002.
Harris said, “We have approximately 20 active volunteers, and about 10 of those are foster homes. We always need more fosters and donors. Our unpaid volunteers do everything, including helping with home visits. Volunteers personally inspect and meet all prospective adopters to make sure the home is a safe environment. We spend a minimum of 30 days, and normally 60-90 days with our foster dogs getting to know them and what setting would be best for them. Our group does a lot of rehab, such as taking a border collie that was dumped, injured, or exhibits destructive tendencies and rehab them. We provide medical care, vaccinations, and vaccines if needed. Rehab includes basic training and house manners, like learning to wear a collar and walk on a leash. For tough cases, such as canine compulsive disorder (like OCD in humans), we find specialists to help the animal overcome this. Rehab is offered for any rescues except those with aggression or that bite.”
Lifetime Support for Border Collie Rescues
Unlike most rescue agencies, BC Rescue & Rehab provides support after adoption, for the lifetime of the pet. Their private community helps find lost animals, and so far they have a perfect record! They provide access to experts like trainers, vets and veterinary specialists. Experts in sports like herding, agility, Flyball, and related fields are available within the network.
“Essentially, we attempt to create a family of people with similar love for these dogs, and ensure forever homes so they never end up in the system again,” Harris said.
Since she lives in a rural area, Harris said she currently has eight dogs and four cats, all rescues. “All are BC except one livestock guardian Pyrenees who helps protect us from predators, and one senior blind Papillon. I normally have no more than two fosters, and specialize in dogs who failed everywhere else. These include extremely shy, seniors with major health issues, or dogs who require a lot of time and rehab before they are adoptable. We have dogs who are so scared in the shelter they would be euthanized, and we get them into foster homes so what was once a scared dog becomes an IG superstar,” she said.
Volunteers and Foster Homes Needed
The nonprofit needs more volunteers and foster homes, Harris said. If you’re not able to volunteer, donations are always welcome. Even small amounts help. You can provide vaccinations for one dog for $30. Just $5 pays for one month of heartworm prevention for one dog.
“The average cost we pay for one foster dog is $450, and our adoption fee is only $300,” Harris said. “Without donations, we couldn’t survive as a financially responsible organization.”
When you attend North Texas Irish Festival at Fair Park March 6-8, Harris asks you to please stop by their booth. Meet their volunteers and adoptive families, and hear more about the work they do. Plus, you’ll meet a few adorable Border Collies who are eager to make your acquaintance.
An extra special save by BCRR is sweet Kermit!
Kermit is a double Merle BC x Catahoula. He was the result of a bad backyard breeder who allowed 2 of his merles to breed, which is a big no-no due to the defects that can happen when a Double Merle is produced.
Kermit is 100% deaf and 80-90% blind. Obviously that puts him behind in the way of “easy” dogs to adopt but he’s smart and touch training is doable for the right, dedicated person.
BCRR saved Kermit the day before he was to be euthanized by the owner and has flourished in his foster home. He is 90% crate and potty trained, loves to play with dogs big and small and is VERY treat motivated to learn how to sit and stay!
If you have ever considered what it might take to help the extra special fur babies, Kermit is the right place to start looking!
Kermit will be at North Texas Irish fest with his foster mom all weekend and you can meet him, give him cuddles and treats and ask his foster any and all questions about special needs dogs!