Potomac Valley Bernese Mountain Dog Club



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Rescue is a popular term that may infer some degree of hero status to the rescuer.  We're not heroes, but concerned individuals focused on the goal of finding the best new home for purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs that, due to a variety of circumstances, come to our attention.  We have been involved with innumerable placements over the years due to changing life situations, from give-ups because buying the puppy was a mistake or the dog's personality did not suit its family, to  family emergencies such as  illness, divorce, relocation, economic stress, and even murder.  Please read Happy Endings below, summaries of how we've helped some of the dogs along their way to their forever homes.

To assure dogs in need receive the best service we can render, PVBMDC adopted the following guidelines, intended not to limit our concern for the welfare of the dogs, but to establish a uniform approach to each individual situation and to limit the legal ramifications to our club, officers, directors and members by inappropriate actions taken by any individual without our knowledge or consent.






PVBMDC is committed to the welfare of Bernese Mountain Dogs of which rescue is an important part.  We educate and counsel both those who wish to give up a dog and those who are seeking a rescue dog.  We can help put those seeking a rescue in touch with those who have a BMD they want to re-home.  We work with individuals and organizations such as dog shelters which have purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs for adoption.

We DO NOT evaluate or foster any dogs, nor do we determine the suitability of an individual dog for adoption.  We DO NOT recommend any specific dog to anyone.  The responsibility of determining whether or not a dog is suitable for adoption rests solely between the prospective new owner and the current owner.  We will not refer dogs that are known to us to be aggressive toward humans.  We encourage owners and/or adopters to neuter intact dogs.

PVBMDC members may not take a dog into their home for evaluation as a representative of the Club.  If a Club member does evaluate a dog, he/she understands that the responsibility and liability rests with that member and not the Club.

If you have made the difficult decision to give up a dog, we offer our support and counsel, but cannot foster or shelter your dog.   We encourage you to contact the dog's breeder as most responsible breeders will want to help re-settle the dog if possible (check your sales contract as it may specify what is to happen if you give up your pet).  

Contact Sharon Hasenauer (sharon@pvbmdc.org) for assistance.  Rescue application forms are available for download by clicking here.   



We've been active in Rescue work since our inception.  Here are some of the dogs we've helped along the way.


2015 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair


2014 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair





Sharon congratulates Michael Suter

who placed the winning bid for a gift certificate for a custom watercolor

pet portrait by artist Ron Krajewski.

Generously donated by

Carmelita White to benefit PVBMDCs Rescue Fund.






In a brief in-ring ceremony at the Specialty, Bob Reeve presented Rick Trudeau an engraved plaque recognizing his extraordinary efforts in rescuing and raising funds for the canine victims of a January townhouse fire. Rick is pictured above, on the right, with his supervisor and two of the dogs who benefited from his efforts, which included setting up a Go-Fund-Me account which raised an incredible sum to help pay the soaring vet bills.  PVBMDC was able to help with a $1,000 donation from their Rescue fund.

Early Monday morning, January 27, 2014, two homeowners experienced one of the worst nightmares imaginable when they awakened at 3a.m. to find their Alexandria townhouse ablaze and quickly filling with smoke. Also inside the burning structure were four Bernese Mountain Dogs and a Corgi.  One of the owners was able to evacuate unscathed, but the other became trapped on the third floor and had to be carried down a ladder by one of the sixty Fairfax firefighters who responded to the two-alarm call. Four of the dogs were also rescued, but the fifth, a Berner, did not survive. One of the homeowners was flown to MedStar Washington Hospital Center by helicopter, and the dogs were transported to a vet in Springfield, Virginia.



2013 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair


2012 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair
























Update: "Quincy is a joy to have as a member of [our] family. He is fitting in and getting better day by day. . . We want to thank you and your rescue organization for accepting our application and giving us the opportunity to adopt Quincy. We love him!"









"If they could see me now!"  Four years after being adopted through PV's rehome program.  





Ruby first came to our attention in the spring of 2008 when her family called Sharon because she had been hit by a car, broken a leg, and they didn't think they could afford to have it repaired.  Thus began the very long saga of Ruby's great adventure and her eventual adoption by PV Members Pam & George Barnes.  The full account of Ruby and her rehabilitation, and the great fundraising efforts led by Sharon Hasenauer, is featured in the June 2010 issue of the Alpenhorn.











2011 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair




UPDATE - We rescued Macy on 24 Nov 2009, so she's been with us a few days shy of a year. Macy was a very shy dog when we first adopted her. Although she still has some anxiety around strangers, she has warmed up to our family and friends and she loves to go to dog parks. We live on a 1.3 acre wooded lot. When we first brought Macy home last fall, she was afraid of leaves and the woods and wanted to walk only on the driveway and walkway. Now exploring and running through the woods is one of her favorite daily activities. When the blizzards struck Maryland this past Winter, Macy couldn't have been happier. Like all Berners, she loves the snow! Macy graduated from both basic and intermediate dog training classes this year. She attended her first Draft Workshop on 12 Sept 2010. Although she's still afraid of the cart, we are still working with her in hopes that one day she'll enjoy drafting. Macy is a good girl. Over the year, we've replaced her crate with a big dog bed. She has never destroyed or shown any interest in chewing things that don't belong to her. When we go on vacation, Macy does too. She enjoys spending her vacations at my parents' or Barry's parents' home. She has also gone camping 3 weekends with my parents this year. We have no children, so our parents call Macy their Granddog.














Mimi, a two-year old female given up because of change in family's housing, came with a bonus -- five, probably 1/2 Lab, puppies born a week after she was turned over to PV.  Sharon found excellent homes for all, and Mimi became a permanent member of the Hasenauer household after her maternity duties were complete. Thanks to Carmelita White for being Mimi's midwife and puppy mom for 8 weeks!








2010 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair




Sadie, a 14-month old give up by a family who couldn't spend the time with her that she needed, bunked with PV members Valerie Chase and Bill Johnson for three weeks while Sharon worked on finding her a permanent situation.  Sadie's now in her forever home, and Valerie and Bill are still telling stories of their adventures with this exuberant pup.  
















**A frantic call from a family who was in the process of moving, brought six and seven-year old Berners to our attention.  Their breeder was located and immediately took them in, had their medical issues treated and worked with Sharon to find them a good situation TOGETHER!  Elizabeth and Julia Crawford volunteered to do a home check of applicants in Salisbury, and soon the two dogs were settled into a new family who adores them.  















Bob the Berner, a Maryland dog that was dropped in someone's backyard, got an able assist from Sharon

finding his forever home in June 2010.














**Sam, a six-year old boy from Columbia, Md. needed a more active life after one of his young owners went off to study in Europe.  Sam's placement was complicated because he had frequent potty accidents in the house.  His owners were very patient as Sharon worked her list, but they had a planned trip that was coming up quickly and we needed to get him moved.  A friend of the Lingley's volunteered to add Sam to her family of rescued dogs if we could get him to her in Butler, Tennessee.  Soon, Ken Lingley, George Hasenauer and Sam were heading down the road.  We get frequent updates as Sam learns the ropes of running free on large fenced pastures with his new friends.  







Another happy ending. . .

Thirdtyme Rescue had a seven-month old pup in need of a good home. . .

PVBMDC had an A+++ applicant. . .

A match made in heaven. . .

Targhee welcomes little sister Tessa - October 26, 2010



   2010 - Samson, given up by his family, soon found a new home with a previous PV adopting family.  "We love having two Berners. . .," they wrote.  Sam loves riding in the car!     







* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


2009 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair

*Pope Burr again paid a visit to a two-year old girl whose family had recently moved to a new home in Southern Maryland.  The closeness of the new neighbors proved challenging for Misha, and her barking became a problem.  Sharon worked her magic once again, and soon Ms. Misha was the companion to a long-time Berner owner and PV member.







*Grendel, a six-year old male, was given up by his family because they were moving to Paris for six months.  There were only four weeks until their departure, so no time to lose, but Grendel's age proved challenging in finding a family.   When PV member John Moriarty heard about Grendel at a PV meeting, he volunteered to take him in while Sharon continued to look for the right home.  Working with other regional clubs, she found a perfect match for Grendel, a retired couple who wanted an older dog, living on 230 acres in New Hampshire.  PV member George Hasenauer volunteered to drive Grendel to New England, a mere 10-hours each way.  






**An unfortunate set of circumstances led to two Berners ending up in a garage in Leonardtown and a frantic want-to-be rescuer on the phone to Sharon.  Once again, Second Hope Rescue responded quickly to Sharon's call and picked up the dogs within an hour.  A experienced Berner family, who had been on the waiting list but who had recently bought a new puppy, decided they may be able to take in another dog.  Well, that was their intent -- to take in ONE more dog.  But when they saw how much these two abandoned Berners were attached to each other, they couldn't leave the one behind.  So now all three dogs  have become one big happy Berner family. 







**After spending some time on the phone with an owner who was having problems with a Berner she had purchased on the spare of the moment at an open air market in DC, Sharon was shocked to receive a phone call from the Washington Humane Society saying the dog had been surrendered to them a mere two days later.  The owner, who had indicated she wanted to try some of Sharon's suggestions so she could keep the dog, had apparently changed her mind.  PV members Barry & June Huey had recently expressed interest in possibly adopting a rescue, and before 24 hours had passed, newly named Macy had been picked up by them and was quickly settling into her new surroundings.









**Goose, a shy four-year old boy had been somewhat ignored while his family dealt with illness and a divorce.  Pope Burr made a home visit on our behalf and we quickly found Goose a home with an experienced Berner owner who lived only 20 minutes away.  Goose has settled in with his new family and is really blossoming under his new owner's care and enjoying the company of his new older Berner sister.











"Ziggy" romping in his new backyard.  Re-homed August 2009





2008 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair

**PV members donated items collected at the 2008 Winter Warm-Up to Second Hope Rescue -- close to 80#s of food, a new X-pen, and an assortment of puppy collars were included in the loot.


**In the spring of 2008, Sharon assisted a gentlemen with a debilitating health condition as he made the difficult decision to return his 8-month old pup to her breeder, and later, when he was forced to give-up his 18-month old male, a couple on the PV wait-list was found to be a perfect fit, welcoming the boy into their lives and sending regular updates to his previous owner. 





**Jodi & Dennis Heins quickly came to the rescue of Porsha, a seven-year old girl that was given up when her family had to relocate and couldn't take the dog.  Lucky Porsha is still with the Heins' household living her happy ever after story.









**Ruby first came to our attention in the spring of 2008 when her family called Sharon because she had been hit by a car, broken a leg, and they didn't think they could afford to have it repaired.  Thus began the very long saga of Ruby's great adventure and her eventual adoption by PV Members Pam & George Barnes.  The full account of Ruby and her rehabilitation, and the great fundraising efforts led by Sharon Hasenauer, is featured in the June 2010 issue of the Alpenhorn.





**PV worked with two other regional clubs in finding a new home for a dog in North Carolina.  


**Working far a field, Sharon assisted a North Carolina resident who was moving into the Virginia area and could not bring the dog to her new home.  Sharon coincidentally had a family in NC looking for another Berner on her waiting list, and in short order the young, one-year old male was in his new home.





**The Calvert Animal Rescue League contacted Sharon regarding a young male Berner.  They had no experience with Berners and asked if we could find a good family for him.  Sue Hoffman made a visit to a family who had applied to PV for adoption and had been waiting for several months.  Soon they were on their way to Southern Maryland to pick up their new dog.



**A young female Berner living in a townhouse with several small children in Virginia Beach was looking for a new home and was quickly placed with a couple in Springfield who was on the wait-list.  Here's a note from her new owner, ". . .She really is doing fine.  She is very lovable but also very energetic and loves to play.  I have never seen a Bernese run around the way she does!  She loves to go for walks and absolutely loves the dog park.  I think she is finally housebroken and she starts obedience classes next week.  She is a sweetheart and gets lots of hugs and kisses here. . . "


**Rosey the escape artist in Long Island came to our attention because the regional club that normally covers that area did not currently have a rescue chair, so working with Mason-Dixon, Sharon pitched in to keep up with requests from that region, getting help from members of other clubs to make home visits on applicants from New Jersey, Connecticut and Eastern Pa.  




**Two owner give-ups came to our attention almost simultaneously.  PV member Pope Burr made a visit to one of the girls in Southern Maryland, and Heidi was soon on her way to a new home.  The second owner wrote this note after her girl found a wonderful new home.  ". . .Bella is blessed with a great home, a fabulous brother and some pretty awesome human companions.  It was both heart wrenching and heart warming seeing her in her new environment.  She is obviously very happy, she gets to play all day with Donnie, she has a big yard to dig holes in and she goes swimming in a creek near by.  She did recognize us and seemed very happy to see us.  Thanks for everything you did to help find her the perfect new home."




2007 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair

**PV made a donation to Watchung BMD Club to help with expenses involved with five dogs that were given up by a Pa. farmer.

**We helped a private foster home in Knoxville, TN to re-home two Berner female puppies.

**PV made a donation to Second Hope Rescue in St. Mary's County for medical expenses for a one-year old male given up by his owner.  Donte was successfully re-homed with a new family in Baltimore


**Members John and Dotty Foellmer drove to Ohio with an owner-released two-year old to deliver him into the capable hands at Thirdtyme Rescue for behavior modification.  Sammy found his forever home a few months later.



**Sugar Bear, approximately five-years old, made his way from a Georgia shelter to a foster home in Virginia.  He had some medical issues but someone took a chance and adopted him, picking him up on their way through the area on the way home to Maine.  Sadly, we later learned that Sugar Bear's medical problems returned and became overwhelming, possibly caused by a brain tumor.  He was humanely euthanized, but what a lucky guy to have had so many angels helping him in the last stages of his life.



2006 - Sharon Hasenauer, Rescue Chair

From Sharon's Rescue Report published in the December 2006 issue of the Alpenhorn:

During this time I assisted in the re-homing of four Berners.  Four other families decided to keep their dogs, however, one of those families surrendered both of their Berners to the Humane Society four months after saying they wanted to keep them.  Happily, they were quickly adopted by another family experienced with the breed.  Another family gave up their almost nine-year old male.  He had a forever home with his breeder who often tells me what a wonderful boy he is.  I worked to find a dog for a lady who lost her husband last year and her Berner this year.  We found a reputable breeder that placed an older dog with her.



2005 - Sue Hoffman, Rescue Chair

**Mya came to us because of the sudden death of her owner.  Placed successfully

**Keeper, a male was given up because of owner allergies.  He was re-homed with the Gehorsams.

**Working together with Watchung BMD Club, Liberty found her new home.

**Sampson was relocated with the help of Sharon Hasenauer.

**Katy became the victim of divorce and we facilitated her return to her breeder.

**Kaya was given up by an overwhelmed mother of  baby #3.  Now has parents with time to devote to just her.

**Ali found her new owner when her breeder was downsizing.  Happy results.

**Murphy, a male, found his new family.  A joint effort with Watchung BMDC.

Sue also helped diffuse at least five situations during this year.  



PVBMDC has helped find homes for all dogs pictured here, and many more.





The Rescue Chairperson for the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America is Kathy Deyo, bmdrescue@clearwater.net


You can find other regional club rescue contacts on the BMD Club of America's website www.bmdca.org 


Occasionally a Bernese mix is advertised by Animal Shelters or Humane Societies.  Try doing a search at Petfinder.com


If you are looking for an older dog, not necessarily a rescue, try contacting Bernese breeders.  (Go to the Puppy Info page to get a list of breeders.)  Occasionally they may have an older dog that they are releasing from their breeding program.  These dogs are typically not free.









Enough picture taking! Can we play now?

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