By JOSH SHANNON
PORT DEPOSIT, Md. (AP) — Houdini the bulldog was abandoned by the side of a Virginia road and run over by a car, but like his namesake, he managed an unlikely escape.
“No bones were broken, but he slid on top of his head,” said Kim Barnes, a volunteer with American Bulldog Rescue, the nonprofit group now trying to find a home for Houdini. “His whole head was turned into a mess of road rash.”
A passerby took the dog to a shelter, and volunteers asked Barnes to take him in before he was euthanized.
“They said, `We’ll do anything. We just want to save this dog’s life,”‘ Barnes said.
Barnes agreed to help, and now, Houdini is at a Port Deposit kennel waiting for someone to adopt him. He’s just one of a
few dozen dogs currently getting help from American Bulldog Rescue.
The Pennsylvania-based group works to find homes for unwanted bulldogs and assist bulldog owners who need to give up a dog. It’s not a shelter, but rather a network of volunteers that provide foster homes for the dogs and recruit kennels to temporarily board them.
The K-9 Training Center in Port Deposit has participated in the program for more than a decade and regularly houses up to five dogs waiting for a home, said Lynn Creamer, who runs the center.
Barnes said most of the group’s dogs come from shelters that are about to euthanize the animals.
“I get 100 emails a week from people who have shelters, begging me to take a dog,” she said.
She and the other volunteers look at the dogs available and take the ones they think are most likely to be adopted.
“There’s more dogs out there than we can save,” she said.
The group started casually in 1991 and reorganized more formally in 1999.
“We were all bulldog owners, and it was started by seeing dogs in shelters about to be euthanized and bringing them home,” Barnes said, noting that the members later connected via the Internet to form the group.
Adopting a bulldog from American Bulldog Rescue usually costs between $300 and $400, which covers most of the rehabilitation expenses.
American bulldog is a newer breed, Barnes said, but she likes the dogs because they are loyal and intelligent.
“They have the droopy face and a lot of the other neat things people like about English bulldogs, but they’re healthier,” she said.
Information from: Cecil Whig of Elkton, Md., http://www.cecilwhig.com
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)