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1. Who are we?

The Bull Terrier Rescue of Virginia is a newly formed rescue; incorporated in May, 2010 and granted 501(c)(3) tax exempt status in November, 2010. This means all donations are now tax deductible.

Our mission is to rescue abused, abandoned, homeless or unwanted Bull Terriers, by bringing them together with new adoptive families. We provide care and permanent placement and promote education on the breed to new owners. We require an adoption donation. The adoption donation is sometimes greater depending on the cost of medical expenses or other expenses incurred while the dog was in foster care. This will be discussed with you in depth before any commitment from either party is made.


2. Where are we located?

We are not a shelter, there is no central location to come and see any dogs. The Bull Terrier Rescue of Virginia is located in the Northern Virginia area with members in several different states. Through the generosity of our Fosters Homes, each dog is welcomed into their home where they are given the love and affection they deserve while waiting for their Forever Homes. We are always in need of qualified Fosters which will allow us to rescue more Bull Terriers.


3. How can I help if I can't foster or adopt?

We are always accepting donations of time, supplies, food, and money.


TIME: We are always looking for suitable homes to FOSTER, help with transporting dogs, help out at educational and fund raising events, help hosting a fund raiser and a multitude of other volunteer positions.

SUPPLIES: Rescuing any animal can be costly. One way you can help is to donate your clean, used or unused leashes, collars, crates, shampoos, toys, beds or any other dog related items. Keep in mind that our beloved Bullies come in a variety of sizes, so no item is too big or too small.


FOOD: Like sharks circling a drifting boat, Bull Terriers circle the table. A great way to cut costs for the BTRVA is to donate any non-expired canned, packaged, and dry dog food or treat items. Although food allergies are not uncommon with English Bull Terriers, most can handle good quality food without a problem.


MONEY: Unfortunately, money is the one thing we need the most but a thing of which we can never get enough. The BTRVA is a non-profit corporation, incorporated in the State of Virginia in May, 2010 and granted 501(c)(3) status in November, 2010. The BTRVA will gladly accept any donation, large or small.


You could always buy a tee shirt from our store at too! You need not be a Booster to donate, but in order to volunteer, you must be a Booster. Please consider joining the BTRVA today! We will gladly answer any questions you may have concerning charitable donations of any type. Please contact:


4. Does BTRA make a profit off of the adoption donation?

No! We are a not-for-profit organization. We work entirely by volunteer effort and generous supporters that help cover the cost of all equipment and administrative needs. Donations go towards our dogs’ medical expenses. In fact, in almost all cases, the adoption donation falls far short of the actual expenses for the dogs.


5. Why do you do phone interviews and home visits?

Home visits give both the adopting family and the Rescue the opportunity to ask and answer questions concerning the dog, the adoption process, how to care for a dog, etc. It also gives us a chance to make sure your home is "dog proofed" and ready for a dog. This is not an inspection but rather an informal visit to make sure you're ready for your new dog and the dog you've chosen will fit into your lifestyle, home life, and likes you personally. After such a home visit, we do reserve the right to say "no" to the dog you want for whatever reason.


6. Who takes care of the dogs?

Rescuers will foster Bull Terriers in their homes, making them part of the family while providing care and training. The animals will be screened for behavioral and health issues, any issues shall be addressed, and every attempt is made to make the best possible match with adopting families.

Many of the Bullies we rescue are from situations that are not very pleasant. This fact alone is bad enough, but when you introduce a rescue dog to a new environment, no matter how pleasant the environment, it can be very stressful on the dog.


Prior to any Bullie being adopted, we take the time to observe each and every dog to determine their temperament, social skills, people skills and a host of other behaviors and habits. Our foster families are all skilled in recognizing these traits and help make any transition for a Bullie as smooth as possible.


7. What veterinary care does BTRVA usually provides its dogs?

Even for rescues, veterinary care costs continue to rise. The following list will give you some idea of the Rescue's veterinary care costs:

  • Medical exam $40.00 - $50.00

  • Rabies vaccine $17.00

  • Heartworm 4-Way Test $25.00

  • Bordatella $17.00

  • DHPP Vaccine $20.00

  • Fecal $17.00

  • Spay/Neuter (including anesthesia) $150.00

  • Medication after surgery $30.00

  • Eye/Ear medicated ointment $20.00 - $30.00**

  • Antibiotics $20-$40**

  • Heartworm prevention $60.00**

  • If a dog tests positive for heartworm, that dog is treated for heartworm treatment is complete prior to being adopted. Heartworm treatment for heartworm positive dogs is costly and runs anywhere from $500 - $2,000**.

  • Dental polishing and scaling including extractions $175.00**

  • Allergy testing $600.00**

  • Echocardiogram $600.00**

  • The average veterinary hospital stay can be as costly as $450.00 per day**


BTRVA requires veterinary care items noted in RED prior to adoption if not addressed prior to the rescue taking ownership of the animal.


**Consideration is given to these procedures/medications/veterinary procedures by the Rescue on a case-by-case, as needed basis.

Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the adoption process?

The first step in our adoption process is the completion of the Adoption Inquiry form.

  • After filling out an adoption inquiry form one of our members on the Rescue Committee with contact you for a phone interview. This is so we can make sure all of your desires and needs are met as well as the dogs’. This gives you an opportunity to ask us as many questions as you have and gives us the ability to determine which dog would be a good fit.

  • After the adoption inquiry and phone interview we schedule a visit to your home. Home visits give everyone the ability to ask and answer questions concerning the dog, the adoption process, how to care for a dog, etc. It also gives us a chance to make sure your home is "dog proofed" and ready for a dog. This is not an inspection but rather an informal visit to make sure you're ready for your new dog and the dog you've chosen will fit into your lifestyle, home life, etc.

  • We will then have an introduction between you and the dog, and complete the adoption process if the person or family is deemed a good fit for the dog, and vice versa.

  • To help defray our costs we require a tax deductible donation with each adoption. All proceeds go back into the rescue to help other Bullies in need. This donation is subject to change depending on veterinary costs the dog needs. - If any of the above steps are not completed, the adoption process will not move forward.


2. Do I need to be 21 years old to adopt a dog? 

Yes. The adoption of a dog is a legal contract which cannot be enforced against minors under 21 years of age, therefore, proof of age will be required by the rescue in order for you to be considered for adoption..


3. How long does it take to adopt a dog?

We have a screening process that we follow thoroughly. The entire process normally takes approximately 30 days. It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to months. It depends on the volume of rescue work at the time and your accessibility. Sometimes it's only a couple of weeks, and sometimes it is a month or more waiting for just the right Bull Terrier for you. Please remember that we are all volunteers and most of us have regular full-time jobs and families. We appreciate your patience.

The following bulleted items are the steps that must be taken in order to adopt a dog from our rescue:

  • The Inquiry form must be completed. After the Rescue Committee receives a completed Adoption Inquiry form, telephone contact is made. At this point we would be happy to discuss any questions you may have regarding the breed. Questions from the rescue will also take place. (i.e. experience with the breed, research you may have done on the breed, any items in question on the inquiry form, etc.).

  • Please offer personal references, vet references if applicable when you submit your adoption inquiry.

  • During this process we will be looking at our list of available dogs and looking at your family/home situation in order to choose an appropriate match for both you and the dog.

  • A member of the Bull Terrier Rescue of Virginia will phone you to set up a home visit. This visit is to ensure your home is "bullie proofed" as well as a safe haven for the potentially new member of your family. (i.e., fencing is secure; trash cans have lids, etc.)

  • We will then have you meet the dog at the foster home. We require all family members to be present for this visit. After this visit the foster family and the applicants will be contacted by a rescue committee member to discuss the outcome of the visit. The applicant will be notified within a week if foster family feels the dog is considered a match for the adoptive family.

  • The foster family will then contact the adoptive family to arrange for the adoption date. At this time the adoptive family will sign all pertinent paperwork and furnish payment to the BTRVA for the adoption donation indicated on the adoption agreement.


4. What if the dog I adopt doesn't fit my family?

This doesn't usually happen, as our efforts are very thorough in matching dog to family. However, in the event dog and family are mismatched, we ask that you call the BTRVA first. The Rescue is a knowledgeable resource on the breed and most likely has experience in any problem you may encounter. There is a clause in our adoption contract that if the adoptive home feels the dog is truly not a fit; the dog MUST be released back to BTRVA. We ask for at least two weeks notice in order to prepare for the return of the dog, thereby allowing us time to ensure a foster home is available. Adoption donations are non-refundable.


5. Why do I have to pay the adoption donation?

We are an approved 501(c)(3) that receives no outside government funding. We are supported by private donations and our own fund raising efforts. The money received goes directly towards the care of the Bull Terriers in our rescue. Although the adoption donation is one way we use to subsidize the cost of caring for our rescued dogs, it also serves one other function. The adoption donation should remind anyone wanting to adopt a Bull Terrier or any dog that it costs money to properly care for your pet. If you cannot afford an adoption donation, then you must seriously ask yourself if you will be able to afford veterinary care for your pet throughout its lifetime should it ever fall ill or have an accident.


6. How do I let you know I want to adopt a dog?

Fill out an Adoption Inquiry form.


7. Where can I find your available dogs for adoption?

Visit our page on Petfinder or see our available dogs on our website page: Available Dogs.


8. How often do you get new dogs?

The amount of dogs we can rescue is affected by how many foster families we have for dogs, vet care needed by the dogs, and finding good forever homes for our bullies. Our numbers are always changing based on those factors.


9. Do you get puppies?

We do occasionally get puppies. If you are interested in a puppy or younger dog, be sure to specify that on your Adoption Inquiry form and so we may do everything we can to match up the right family with the right dog.



1. What do I need to do to become a Foster?

You must be a Booster of the BTRVA to foster a dog, but before a Booster can volunteer to offer a foster home, they are interviewed and assessed by the Board of Directors to ensure their skills meet the Rescue's high criteria. All of our foster homes are thoroughly vetted to ensure that they are up to the standards required by the BTRVA. Our standards are extremely high, because, in the end, it's the health, safety and well being of our beloved Bullies that matters. To become a booster please fill out this booster form and send payment to the address on the form.


If you are interested in fostering a Bull Terrier, here is a list of questions you must ask yourself and discuss with your family prior to undertaking the commitment:

Is everyone in your household 100% in agreement to having a foster dog in the home? Fostering takes time. First the dog is assessed, and only then a forever home is sought.


Are you willing to fully commit to keeping a foster dog for as long as it takes, whether it is a month, 3 months, or 6+ months?


Are you able to provide food, toys, patience and the love and care these dogs deserve and require? Keep in mind some rescues do have health or behavioral problems. Sometimes it will take weeks for a dog’s true personality to come out


Are you willing to be patient and not expect the dog to always be "normal?"  These are just a few of the many questions you will have to review before committing to becoming a foster home for the BTRVA.


If you would like to become a foster, please complete the Foster Inquiry form.  For more information on fostering, please contact us:


2. Do I pay for vet visits if I foster?

The BTRVA will reimburse the foster family for APPROVED medical expenses related to the foster dog's care. Are you willing to take on the responsibility of taking the dog to the vet for scheduled and unscheduled visits?


3. Isn't it hard to give up foster dogs for adoption? Don't you get attached to them?

Of course we get attached! It is very hard but an extremely happy and rewarding time as well. We encourage our adoptive families to keep in touch with us, send us progress reports via emails, send us pictures, and to attend our meetings so we can see our foster dogs again and how happy they are now!


4. Does BTRA make a profit off of the adoption donation?

No! We are a not-for-profit organization. We work entirely by volunteer effort and generous supporters that help cover the cost of all equipment and administrative needs. Donations go towards our dogs’ medical expenses. In fact, in almost all cases, the adoption donation falls far short of the actual expenses for the dogs.

Caring For Your New Dog

1. How can I help my dog adjust to his/her new home?

Dogs thrive on routine, so orient your Bull Terrier to your schedule. As long as you are consistent and provide leadership, the dog will adjust. Your Bullie will explore everything, so dog-proof your house (place shoes inside closets, put electrical cords out of reach, move prized objects to higher ground).


Remember, your dog will be excited and anxious about his new home. Don't be surprised at panting and pacing, housetraining accidents, excessive drinking or chewing, or gastric upset. Tell every member of your family to resist the temptation to overwhelm a new dog. Give him some time and space to get settled. Next, take him to his crate. Encourage him to sniff around; reward him with small treats for entering and staying in the crate. Keep soft bedding and safe toys in the crate; rotate the toys for variety.


Dogs don't come pre-programmed. In your dog's previous life, he may have been encouraged to jump up on people, steal food, or play too rough. Use clear, simple, consistent commands and positive reinforcement. Reward good behavior with treats, hugs and a happy voice. Use corrections sparingly.


Count on a dog marking or having accidents the first few days, even if he was housetrained. Have pet-specific cleaning products on hand.

Owner knowledge and training is the key to a successful adoption. It's all up to you. No one training approach is right for every dog.


2. Do you have any recommended reading on the breed?

 So, You Think You Want A Bull Terrier

The Notabull Volume 1, Issues 1-2


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