Cold Truth: French bulldog adoption is not an easy, cheap way to get a French Bulldog. Because French Bulldogs are expensive, it’s a common misconception that adopting a French Bulldog is automatically cheaper. This is simply not true. Purchasing a healthy companion French Bulldog from a reputable breeder is the only way to go. It’s a dangerous and unfair assumption that adopting a french bulldog is cheaper. If you want to adopt a french bulldog, you need to understand well that french bulldogs in adoption networks will always come with baggage. Many french bulldogs in adoption networks have been removed from bad homes and have emotional issues, maladies and illnesses that require expensive medical care.
A Colder Truth About French Bulldog Adoption
Adopting a french bulldog is an act of altruism that should be reserved for those with the financial stability to provide adequate care for an adopted french bulldog. Most french bulldogs awaiting adoption, if not all, have serious medical issues. Medical issues are the primary reason french bulldogs end up in adoption networks, anyway. People can’t afford to care for their aging or sick french bulldogs, so they dump them with adoption agencies. At any given time in the United States, there are 4000+ french bulldogs awaiting adoption. However, because there is an abundance of frenchies waiting to be adopted, that does not mean that it’s cheaper to adopt a french bulldog. French bulldog adoption is often two to three times more expensive than getting a healthy french bulldog puppy. Here’s an anecdote: last summer my wife and I setup a meeting to adopt a french bulldog from a breeder. The breeder was located around one and half hours from us. We found the adoption classified through a local online aggregate. We knew beforehand that the french bulldog up for adoption was used for breeding and he had hip dysplasia. We discussed the idea and decided that we were making enough money to adopt him (his name is Papa Smurf, he was a blue/grey brindle). The meeting went well but his hip dysplasia was way worse than we anticipated. The owner asserted that he was having a bad day and that he’s usually not so lame. The poor guy was limping around the parking lot we were meeting in. Papa Smurf needed surgery and the owner was offering to pay for the surgery to correct his hip problems. After discussing it briefly and letting our Frenchies play with Papa Smurf, we decided to sleep on it. At the end of the day, we decided that even though we were making more money than ever, it still wasn’t the right time to bring another french bulldog into our house. We were already feeding three dogs and caring for them like children. One of them is our primary stud and he is totally intact. Since Papa Smurf was also intact, we were certain there would be a turf war. We had intended to go ahead and have Papa Smurf neutered since he was unfit for breeding, but that was another cost. We also wanted to consult our primary surgeon/veterinarian before allowing the owner of Papa Smurf to proceed with the french bulldog hip dysplasia surgery. At the end of the day, we were more and more convinced that the costs were too much and that Papa Smurf was better off living out his days in retirement on his owner’s farm. We did encourage the owner to stop breeding him and she agreed. He has since been neutered and as far as we know, he’s happily retired from the Frenchie stud life. Point in case, french bulldog adoption isn’t black and white. There are so many factors to consider. Thems the facts.
Adopt a french bulldog to save a life, not gain a cheap status symbol
French bulldogs are a status symbol in America. Owning a french bulldog is chic, hip, and cool by modern hipster standards. Frenchies are the new golden retrievers, no longer limited to white upper-class families somewhere in Coastal Maine. French bulldogs are quickly becoming the symbol of American decadence and conspicuous consumption. Take a stroll through Williamsburg or Brooklyn on any given day and you’ll encounter a plethora of apartment dwelling Frenchies walking their oblivious Manhattan bourgeois owners. Don’t buy a French Bulldog from a breeder just to have a french bulldog as a decoration. The same goes for adoption. Don’t adopt a French Bulldog in an attempt to feel better about buying a severely over-bred breed of dog. Adopt a mutt if you want a family dog. Adopt a french bulldog if you want to save their life and provide them a few good years of comfort and play. Remember that frenchies do not live very long, anyway.
Adopting a french bulldog is expensive
Even though healthy french bulldog puppies cost upwards of $2500-$5000 from reputable breeders, don’t expect to spend less on french bulldog adoption. As I stated above, adopting a french bulldog is expensive. There are fees, medical checks, and typically always lots of veterinarian visits. French bulldog adoption should be a decision based on your financial status. If you’re in an unstable housing arrangement, you’re between jobs, you don’t have an emergency french bulldog medical fund, or you’re just flat out living paycheck to paycheck, then do not adopt a french bulldog. French bulldog adoption means money to help care for their myriad medical issues. There are certainly tons of healthy french bulldogs needing adoption, but you still have to purchase food, bedding, toys, and recreational goods. Not to mention regular vet visits and checkups, travel costs, and more. French bulldogs, whether from a breeder, or through a french bulldog adoption network, are expensive. I’m sorry. It hurts me, too.
French Bulldog Adoption Networks Are Not Stupid
The only national french bulldog adoption and rescue network in the United States is the eponymous French Bulldog Rescue Network.
The FBRN is a non-profit that specializes entirely in french bulldog adoption and rescuing. They’re totally non-profit/501 (c) 3 and will tell you first-hand that adopting is not a cheap way to get a frenchie.
Steps to French Bulldog Adoption
Adopting a french bulldog is pretty straight forward. There are parameters that must be met in order to qualify. It’s just like applying for anything else; a loan, a job, et cetera.
- Initial application placed online or via snail mail.
- Foster parent calls you personally and the FBRN will call your veterinarian and ask questions about you.
- If the phone interviews go well, you will be asked to arrange a home visit from a FBRN volunteer. This is non-negotiable.
- The home visitor will verify that you have a fenced in yard, no dangerous places a frenchie could fall through (mostly stair railing), and no dangerous house plants.
- If you pass the home visit, your application will be forwarded to the Board of Directors.
- If the Board of Directors approve your application, you will be asked to sign a contract stating that you will return your frenchie to the rescue network if you’re unable to care for them.
- If you’re approved, you are responsible for making travel arrangements to pick up your french bulldog. French bulldogs cannot fly in planes or in the cargo area. No exceptions.
As you can see, the application process is very stringent and very involved. Rescue networks will not simply hand you a needy French Bulldog and say “Good luck!” You will be thoroughly vetted, and then some. This is necessary. French bulldogs are rare, require specialized medical attention, and are exceptionally emotional.
So, to summarize, if you’re considering adopting a french bulldog, please inform yourself first. It is not cheaper to adopt and can often be even more expensive than working with a humane, reputable breeder. If you’re set on adopting, understand that you are responsible for your french bulldog’s well-being. You must provide veterinary visits, high quality foods and toys, and an endless amount of love and attention.