Boellie (left) and Mr Higgins (right) both adopted from English and French Bulldog Rescue South Africa
Written by and photos supplied by Founder, Zandra van Dyk
Bulldogs, with their sturdy bodies and quirky flat-faced features, have grown in popularity in South Africa. Sadly, along with this popularity comes the inevitable over-breeding, neglect, and dogs in need of new homes.
English and French Bulldog Rescue was started in April 2014 when Jean-Mari Smit and I realised that the breed we shared such a strong passion for was derailing and in dire need of help.
Helping bulldogs in need
Originally, we planned to be a networking page where we’d share and network all Bulldogs in need of a home. We soon saw how needed a Bulldog-specific organisation was – within the first hour of starting the group, we already had our very first rehome, a female named Chloe. We stuck to the networking and, for the first three years, we didn’t have many to rehome.
But then things changed. There just seemed to be more and more Bulldogs in South Africa needing new homes and help. The more popular a breed becomes, the more unscrupulous breeders there are overbreeding them and the more there are buying these dogs not knowing they need costly, specialised care. We soon found ourselves overwhelmed with dogs to rehome. That’s when we decided that we needed to get serious about this, and so we registered English and French Bulldog Rescue as an NPO in 2017.
To date, we have homed over 700 animals all over South Africa - 600 bulldogs, 100 other breeds, and 20 cats. We rehome all over South Africa; in Durban we have Sherwyn Maistry, in Johannesburg, Nicole Sequeira, Jean-Mari Smit in Rustenburg, and myself (Zandra) in Cape Town.
A steady stream of Bulldogs
Since then, we’ve had a steady stream of Bulldogs join us. Last year, along with COVID-19 and lockdown, saw us have one of our hardest and busiest years to date. We homed 80 dogs in a year and, sadly, got to see some of our worst cases to date.
Bulldogs can and are very expensive to own, and many of those that come to us have been neglected in some form or other. Aside from the normal veterinary costs of vaccinations, sterilisations, vet checks, and good food, dogs often come in needing specialised care (such as for eye problems or soft-palate issues).
We have an amazing public support, for which we’re so grateful, but it sometimes seems a losing battle in comparison to what we’re dealing with. Our biggest wish would be for us to have a sanctuary where our Bulldogs that are difficult to home, such as seniors, can live out their lives in peace.
You can help
We at English & French Bulldog Rescue SA (NPO 184 - 589) are committed to helping English, French and American Bulldogs. If you love these dogs too and wish to help us by making a donation, we’re extremely grateful.
Acc number: 1487025937
Branch code: 470010
Ref: Your Name
And for more information, please contact Zandra on 065 953 7367 or Jean-Mari on 076 636 3615, or email us at either Bulldogrescuesouthafrica@gmail.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Please follow us on Facebook at @English & French Bulldog Rescue SA and on Twitter @EFBRSA.