MARCH 2018
Welcome to the YEAR OF THE DOG
ICYMI: With the celebration of the Chinese New Year on February 16, we have officially entered the Year of the Dog. Seeing as it belongs to man’s best friend, 2018 seems like it should be a banner year— but what exactly does it mean? Contrary to what your charming Britts might want you to think, it’s not a 365-day celebration of extra treats and belly rubs, but rather part of a 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac in which the new year begins not on the first day of the Gregorian calendar, but rather on the first day of the Chinese New Year.

The Chinese lunar calendar is based on, you guessed it, lunar cycles, with a new moon heralding the beginning of a new month. The beginning of the new year is celebrated with the first new moon of spring, which always falls between January 21 and February 20 — hence its other name, Spring Festival. The celebrations usually last around 16 days, with traditions varying widely across the country (and world). Some typical features, however, are red decorations such as lanterns and banners to bring luck and prosperity, intergenerational reunion dinners among families on New Year’s Eve, fireworks at midnight, and a gift exchange of red envelopes containing money. And, of course, there are decorations relating to the animal of the year, which means lots of dog images brightening up streets and homes.

The dog is the 11th member of the 12-part Chinese zodiac. According to legend, the Jade Emperor called a meeting of the animals and said that the order in which they arrived would be the order in which they appeared in the zodiac. Dog, along with Monkey and Rooster, was a way helping a god battle evil spirits; since the three arrived at the same time, the Emperor placed them in the order they were received by the god they were visiting, and Dog became number 11.

The Chinese zodiac more specifically operates on a 60-year cycle, as each animal is paired with one of five elements. 2018, then, is the Year of the Earth Dog. Like their canine counterparts, people born in this year will be loyal, direct, and prone to seeing things in black and white. Zodiac dogs are also tough, sometimes bordering on obstinate, and they have a pessimistic streak that they hide under a cheerful exterior. The earth element lends 2018 dogs practicality and a reserved attitude, with a drive for justice. Their high moral standards make them steadfast, but they may run into trouble when they try to hold others to those same standards— not unlike our Britts when walk time rolls around and their leash isn’t out yet.
A look at The Year of the Dog around the World.
As responsible Brittany people, we want to believe that all dogs receive proper care. Dogs fare well in many countries, including France, Great Britain, and Germany. Just as in the U.S., they are considered members of the family. As such, they receive medical attention and plenty of pampering and affection. It’s not uncommon to see these dogs trotting beside their people in cafes, shops and even grocery stores.

While the stray dog problem proves a global issue, some countries take steps to remedy the situation, most notably Germany. This country boasts a large number of privately-funded and well-staffed animal shelters. The adoption rate is over 90%, even with stringent qualifications. Indoor dogs, for example, may not be left alone in the house for more than eight hours a day. Outdoor dogs must live in a thermally insulated house and receive socialization and exercise for at least two hours per day.

Life proves much different for dogs in Greece and Spain. Sporting dogs like our Brittanys suffer the most. Hunting is a huge tradition in these countries, not just as a sport, but as a way to acquire food. Dogs are considered mere ‘tools’ to that end. They do not share their owner’s home and are not treated as pets. Dogs are chained outside with very little human contact. Some are starved to serve the superstition that they hunt better when hungry. And if they do not hunt well, they are abandoned.

“It proves especially difficult in January, February, and March. This is the end of hunting season. If they are not good hunters, they are thrown away,” says Nancy Hensley, ABR’s International Rescue Director. “Many are found starving. Most are sick. The treatment of unwanted animals is unbelievable. Poisoned, hanged, shot, muzzles taped or wired shut so they can’t eat or drink or breathe.”

Even if a Brittany is considered a good hunter, if he becomes ill, or when he is too old to work, most owners refuse to spend money on medical treatment or continue to provide for his basic needs. The lucky ones are literally dumped at shelters—tied to the front gate or dropped over the fence. Most of the time, they are simply let loose to fend for themselves.

This is because of the mindset that dogs are property and it’s easier and cheaper to acquire a new one. Dogs are readily available due to irresponsible breeding. Spaying and neutering are seen as too expensive and unnatural. “Sadly, this was the way it was here in the U.S. about 40 years ago,” says Hensley. “It takes time to change a culture. It will be even harder in ‘macho’ based cultures.”

Mary Willis, a seasoned international rescuer, has traveled to these countries for over 40 years. She says tourists turn over the majority of the dogs surrendered to shelters, but the shelters are always overcrowded and often poorly maintained. “Instead of turning off the water, they just get a bigger bucket,” she says.

Laws are enacted to protect animals, but they are rarely enforced. Although she has witnessed much abuse, she believes that many Greeks and Spaniards love their animals and wish to fight against the system. She has helped ABR navigate the complicated logistics involved in our rescue mission, but most importantly, she has helped to build trust with our partners overseas.

Because it seems unfathomable to them that we would put so much time, money and effort into saving something that they discard, many believe the dogs could be used for nefarious purposes.

Trust is established through people like Willis and Hensley, who spend a great deal of time and patience explaining our mission. Trust is also strengthened by the people back home who adopt these dogs and then share their stories and photos. With this trust in place, says Willis, our overseas partners “have their boots on the ground” and are willing to help.

To date, ABR has saved the lives of 60 Brittanys from Greece, Spain, Serbia and South Korea. There are currently plans to expand efforts to include Italy.
"Rescuing one dog will not change the world... But for that dog the world will be forever changed."

These wonderful Brittanys are currently available for adoption. Click on their picture for more information, and if you think your family is a good fit, please complete an adoption application here.
We bet you will LOVE Lacy! This lovely lady adores humans and other pups. Easily won over with belly rubs and ear scratches from her human companions, she would be the perfect pet for any family. The foster family adores her and wants to make sure she finds the best home, so no site unseen adoptions for this girl. Check out this “mature” girl.
Will you be this girl’s cuddle bear? Paula is a tender soul that was rescued from a cemetery pregnant and full of ticks and fleas. She was so sick that she lost her babies, but made a full recovery and now is looking for some tender love and comfort as she wakes up each morning in this new life that ABR help create for her. 
Dora “the Explorer” is ready to hang up her traveling hat for a forever home. As one of our international rescues, she flew from overseas to her new life, but she is still adjusting in her new "house" settings. Her foster family says that she has a drive to hunt, so a fence is most important to ensure she doesn't follow a scent and gets lost. She is timid, but with a stable environment we believe she will let her guard down and continue on the road to being the sweetest dog you will ever meet! 
Congratulations to these Brittanys who have found their forever home!

Alex, CA
Avery, CO
Belle, WA
Brittany, IL
Buddy, renamed Opie, NJ
Chelsea, AB
Chester, CA
Clyde, MN
Flekica, ID
Gunnar, CA
Kayleigh, PA
Radley, CA
Reggie, MO
Rexie, OK
Rye, MN
Trina, MO
This month the eNews team is spotlighting iGive. The first online shopping mall where a portion of each purchase is donated to your favorite cause. Established in 1997 for one purpose: to turn everyday online shopping into donations for worthy causes, at no cost to shoppers or the causes they support.

To date, iGive has raised $11,102.14 for American Brittany Rescue, which is almost double the amount raised by AmazonSmile, even though it may not be as well known. Some of the stores that participate in iGive are:
The easiest way to shop with iGive is to download the iGive button. The button will appear when you visit a participating site and it will give you the option to use iGive. You can always decline, but this button will remind you about the iGive opportunity if you are interested in purchasing an item from the website. 

Currently, we have 438 supporters, but only 19 with the iGive button. We would like to double this number by the next eNews. Remember, all the button does is remind you about the opportunity to participate and doesn’t commit you to any purchases. If you shop through the internet… this is a must have to easily support American Brittany Rescue. 

Thank you for your gifts to help give a Brittany a second chance through iGive. 
If you would like to give to American Brittany directly, please click on the button below to make your gift and help a dog in need.

American Brittany Rescue, Inc. is an organization that was formed in 1991 as a cooperative effort of Brittany owners, breeders, trainers, and fanciers who ABR believes have a responsibility not only for their own dogs and the dogs they produce, but for the breed as a whole.


ABR's mission is to provide the leadership and expertise via a network of trained volunteers to take in stray, abandoned, surrendered and/or impounded purebred Brittanys, provide them with foster care, health and temperament screening, an opportunity for any necessary rehabilitation and to assure their health and placement into new homes. In order to fulfill this mission, ABR's volunteers remain flexible and adaptable to current and future business environments and they remain dedicated to the organization.  

Terry Mixdorf, President
Tina Leone, Vice-President/Co-Treasurer
Michelle Falkinburg, Secretary
Diana Doiron, Co-Treasurer
Robin Egan, Chair
Tiffany Dexter
Terrie Johnson
Nancy Hensley
Monica Rutt
Maria Smith
Lisa Bagwell
Brittany Boler
Jeannine Connors
Judie Cutting
Autumn Fenton
Lori Gartenhaus
Patricia Gillogly
Melissa Tapply
Rachel Schollaert
Maria Smith
American Brittany Rescue, Inc. | 866.274.8911 |  Visit Our Website