Boerboel Breed Magazine - Showsight


“What we’d like to see more of is people educating themselves on the breed and on breeders. Ask questions. Research like crazy.”

What reasons do people have for surrendering their Boerboels? These are the things we are told: Owners do not have time; they cannot afford the care; the Boerboel has become too protective; the Boer- boel is too destructive, or aggressive; the Boer- boel they own is too much dog for them and they did not realize it or cannot handle it; the Boerboel does not like a family member or does not like the other animals; their spouse said to get rid of the dog; the Boerboel bit someone (which goes along with aggression, but people define aggression in many ways); the family is moving and the new home does not accommo- date the Boerboel; the Boerboel smells bad and they want to surrender it to rescue. There are many really quite sad and ridiculous reasons we have heard, but there is almost ALWAYS a story behind the story we are given. What current challenges does Boerboel Rescue face, and which age groups do you see most often? We place a dog with an appropriate foster for that dog. However, it is difficult to find people willing to foster, especially those who have some experience. We have some kind-hearted people with no experience who want to foster, but they are hence not a good fit. Plus, very rarely does a bomb-proof Boerboel come in that fits. Even if we have an open home, we cannot intake a dog unless it is a good fit. We do not want to set the dog up for failure and we do not want anyone to get hurt. (Even with safety precautions in place it still goes south sometimes, but we all do our best.) We also need people willing to volunteer in other ways such as processing applications. Fundraising is a big deal and enables the rescue to do more for each dog. The most common age groups we see are typically grouped into two age groups: 18 months to two years old; and senior dogs. Sadly, we are also seeing an uptick right now in backyard breeder dumps. When a dog is surrendered, the first thing we ask is, “Have you spoken to the breeder about returning the Boer- boel?” The answer is almost always “yes” but the breeder refuses to take the dog back. Sometimes the breeders just do not respond back when noti- fied. Regardless, the majority of times it is a breeder we have not heard of before.

are afraid someone is going to get bit.” This comes into play with people who haven’t done their research and don’t understand they are getting a guardian breed that needs training—and that the training needs to be reinforced every single day. What current challenges does Boerboel Rescue face, and which age groups do you see most often? As Kayte says, I think some of the biggest challenges we have faced—and still face—in rescue is finding appropriate fosters and getting enough funding to keep going. We get all the very sick, the blown knees, and the heartworm positives. You name it, we get it, and we have to find a way to pay for it. It kills us to have to turn a dog away, but we have always said we will not get in over our heads to where we can’t properly care for a dog. We see a lot of seniors, like our rescue Koi (pictured above). Not one of my better pictures, but this is Koi on the day before we helped her cross the rainbow Bridge. She ended up with bone cancer. (Can you tell I had been crying?) I think this photo represents a lot of what we endure in rescue. We— especially Kayte Ryan—have had to help so many cross the bridge due to illness. It is a tough road, for sure. Sometimes the emotional stress of it all can be very overwhelming. What we’d like to see more of is people educating themselves on the breed and on breeders. Ask questions. Research like crazy. Maybe then the requests to take in unstable, mental dogs will go down tremendously. KAYTE RYAN

Kayte has been involved in rescue for over 25 years, tak- ing a break for a while when she had her daughter. She has sat on the Board of Directors as Vice President of an all- Mastiff breed rescue, covering the East Coast, and currently holds a board position with Giant Paws Boerboel Rescue. She stays heavily involved in all levels, which includes volunteer support, fostering, behavior and training advisor, medical needs, fundraising (through both social media and live events), intake, adop-

tions, and transports—in no particular order. She has built an incredibly large network of like-minded individuals and supporters over the years and believes in working together to accomplish one goal, which is to save animals. She has dedicated her life to this cause. Kayte has also bred Cane Corsos and been involved in showing.


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