Rescue Spotlight: Boston Terrier Rescue of East Tennessee

Young or old, Boston Terriers without homes have hope because of this rescue group.

Stacy Price, who fosters dogs from BTRET, won this $1,000 donation from Pets Adviser (Petful) to her favorite rescue group.
Stacy Price, who fosters dogs from BTRET, won this $1,000 donation from Pets Adviser (Petful) to her favorite rescue group.

Boston Terriers in the southern United States have a second chance at a loving home thanks to Boston Terrier Rescue of East Tennessee (BTRET).

The nonprofit rescue group is headquartered in Tennessee, but volunteers work in various states to ensure the dogs are cared for and ready for adoption.

Being a breed-specific rescue isn’t easier than being an open-breed rescue. Both have the same problems: not enough funds, too many dogs, high veterinary bills, and a constant need for foster parents and adopters.

For every dog adopted, there’s another one coming in. Rescue groups work tirelessly to find all their dogs forever homes. Some stay in foster care for life.

Seniors Are Welcome Here

Although BTRET tries to take in any Boston Terrier it can, seniors are especially welcomed into the safe haven. Many people avoid senior dogs because of health issues or misconceptions (such as that they are too old to play — anyone with a Boston Terrier will refute that myth).

BTRET regional coordinator Donna Clark estimates that the senior dogs in foster homes in the group’s extended rescue network can be as many as 100 at any given time while they are awaiting adoption.

Of the older dogs, Clark said, “We never refuse to help a Boston in need, regardless of age or medical condition.  These ‘sanctuary’ kids will continue to be loved and cared for as you would your own pet. We’ll provide the veterinary care and medications they may need.”

She added, “Because everyone is looking for a young, healthy Boston to adopt, the older, medically fragile ones may stay with us forever.”

3 Dozen Reasons to Love BTRET

Right now, 36 Boston Terriers are listed for adoption on Adopt a Pet. There is a mix of puppies, young dogs, adults and seniors. The dogs are listed from different states, and their profiles list relevant information. Some of the profiles are written from the dogs’ perspective and are quite humorous.

Clover Athena, a Boston in Virginia, wants other dogs in her new home to have manners, according to her profile. She needs children to give her space and time to warm up to them. She’s a little self-conscious of her belly bulge but offers an explanation for it: a previous surgery.

Other dogs present more of a challenge. Take Cora Kerry, for instance. The Boston Terrier/pit bull mix was stuck in a shelter at a time when BTRET was full. In addition to being a mixed breed, which can sometimes be harder to adopt out, she was heartworm-positive and reportedly pregnant. BTRET called the shelter on the last day to find out if she was still there, and indeed she was.

Even though the rescue group lacked space for additional dogs at the time, Cora was taken in. It turns out she wasn’t pregnant, so she has begun treatment for the heartworms.

Cora is an active dog but loves to bobble and weave around feet, so young children might find it a challenge to stay afoot. She loves playing ball and snuggling, and she would love a forever home even more.

Here are some of the adoptable Bostons available as of today. Check current listings here.
Here are some of the adoptable Bostons available during a recent search. Check current listings here.

How You Can Help This Nonprofit

BTRET relies on donations, volunteers and foster parents. Because it takes in any Boston Terrier regardless of age or medical condition, veterinary bills can become very high.

Petful (formerly Pets Adviser) made a $1,000 donation last fall to BTRET when Stacy Price, a volunteer with the group, won the grand prize in our annual Halloween costume contest with her photograph of Boston Terriers dressed up as crayons. That donation was certainly appreciated, but BTRET still needs additional assistance — and even small donations can help this nonprofit rescue make ends meet.

“Our greatest ongoing need is funds to provide care for seniors,” said Clark. “They ask for so little: just a warm place to sleep, food in their tummy and an occasional belly rub. We are an all-volunteer, 501(c)(3) organization and rely on fundraisers and donations to help Boston Terriers throughout the Southeast.”

Price has volunteered with the group “for the past 4 or 5 years by fostering, processing applications and doing home visits. BTRET has divisions in several states across the Southeast, including mine,” she tells Petful.

Here’s what Price says about her favorite rescue group:

“BTRET is a wonderful organization because the volunteers work tirelessly to save so many dogs each year. They are truly devoted to Boston Terriers and doing whatever it takes to get them into the proper home where the dog can thrive. They will take sick dogs and get them the vetting they need so they can turn into happy, healthy dogs.  Sometimes dogs come into rescue that are very ill, and BTRET has a program that allows them to live out their remaining days in a foster home where they get to experience love and compassion.

BTRET networks with other rescues and shelters to find the best place for the dogs. They have a screening process for adopters to make sure they understand the commitment and responsibility needed to own a dog so it is not an impulse decision. They truly believe ‘It’s all about the dog.'”

If you are interested in helping out as a foster parent or volunteer, contact the rescue via email. To donate funds, click here.

Kristine Lacoste

View posts by Kristine Lacoste
Kristine Lacoste, editor in chief of Petful, is an author, poet and pet lover from Louisiana. She is the author of the book One Unforgettable Journey, which was nominated for a Maxwell Award from the Dog Writers Association of America, and was host of a weekly pet news segment on the National K-9 Academy Radio Show. In addition, she was the New Orleans coordinator for Dogs on Deployment, a nonprofit that helps military members and their pets, for 3 years. Kristine has been researching and writing about pet behaviors and care for many years, with her articles appearing in various publications. She is the CEO of a large mental health practice in Louisiana and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology, a bachelor’s degree in English and a Master of Business Administration degree.

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