New foster: Gonzo Bunny-Ears!

Introducing our new foster, Gonzo Bunny-ears!

Can you even believe how cute this little fellow is?

Poor little Gonzo was caught running loose in Prince George’s County in November. He was taken in to the shelter, and his owners were called in to pick him up. Just a few weeks later, Gonzo was caught again! The second time his people were called, they decided not to come. Can you imagine? This sweet little dog was abandoned by his people because they were too careless to keep him contained, and too disinterested to come save him.

The county shelter in Prince George’s County is extremely overburdened and underfunded, which means that they simply cannot afford to keep dogs very long before they are forced to put them to sleep. Little Gonzo was a staff favorite, but his time was limited. So there he stayed, lonely, worried, and homeless. Just in time, he was pulled by Partnership for Animal Welfare, a local rescue group with which we volunteer. Unfortunately, there were not enough foster homes for Gonzo, so he had to stay at a kennel. Kennel life did not suit him, as evidenced by his barely-furry tail. Poor little guy had banged his tail against his cage so obsessively that he wore the fur right off!

When we met Gonzo Bunny-Ears, we knew he had to be ours to foster.  We have always wanted what we call a “pocket pittie” – which he looks like – and his enormous ears are just a sweet little bonus. He came into our home over the weekend and is settling in beautifully. He is a ready-to-go house dog, and is sweet as can be.

I bet we won’t have him very long before a lucky family snaps him up!

39 responses

  1. Oh, Gonzo is so adorable!! Do you know what breed(s) he is? Looks like he has the Frenchie ears but I agree, he does look like a pocket pittie. Just wondering because I was under the impression that pit bulls (or those resembling pitties, for that matter) were banned in PG county. I’m sure he’ll find a home soon with that irresistible face, but in the meantime I think he hit the jackpot with his foster family! 🙂

    • No idea what breed(s) he is. He looks part pittie to me too, but he is quite small. The vet thought there is a good chance he has not pit in him at all, but he is not available for adoption in PG county just to be on the safe side.

  2. He is adorable…His eyes seem sad. I am sure that will get fixed asap in your wonderful house…What a lucky pup!

  3. Oh my goodness he is beautiful. I have such a weakness for me some white dog…

    Ok they million dollar question…………..what does Chick think about this new addition????

  4. OMG!!! Look at those EARS!!!! And that sweet Face!!!! How does Mr. Chick like his new roomie? He has that look that says ‘I was looking for you!’

    Can’t wait to hear about his adventures.

  5. He is adorable, and I’m glad the weekend break is turning into fostering!

    I can’t let the “forced to put them to sleep” comment go without rebuttal, though. Shelters are not forced to kill animals–and it is killing. They’re not going to sleep and they don’t wake up. They kill because they don’t do things that work instead. They may think they have to, but that is because the people involved have a dysfunctional mental model of sheltering and of the public. Check out the No Kill Advocacy Center and the No Kill Equation. In your general area, Allegany County, MD and Lynchburg, VA are examples of transformation from high-kill to no-kill (and no-kill means no animal that can be saved is killed, not that animals that are suffering with no hope of recovery are left to suffer; euthanasia’s true meaning is mercy killing, and that can still happen):

    • Thanks for this thoughtful comment, Eileen. I myself am torn on how to think about the kill vs no kill shelter dilemma. When I lived in Austin, Texas, there were a few “no kill” shelters that did great work, and advertised disparagingly on the county shelter, which is an open admission shelter. I adopted my Chick from the county shelter, and although I thought it was sickening, the hundreds of dogs a year they put down, I also didn’t see a short-term solution. That particular shelter had a limited number of pens for dogs, and the number coming in greatly exceeded the number of spaces available. It was simply a math problem. In the long term, the solutions are to launch more aggressive ad campaigns promoting adoption, spay/neuter, and responsible pet ownership in general, in addition to creating a foster program and building a larger facility. But in the short term? What do you do if you have 100 full dog pens, and you are bringing in 20+ dogs per day, through a combo of seizures, running at-large, and surrenders? One of the things that angered me the most in the Austin situation was that the “no-kill” shelters, who could turn animals away when they were full, would talk disparagingly about the open admission shelter, thereby creating a negative perception of the city shelter in the public. Surely this decreased the number of people who came to the city shelter looking for dogs– not at all the effect you want to promote.

      I don’t know the PG shelter well and I don’t rule out the possibility that there is some mismanagement or misallocation of funds that renders the operation not entirely efficient, but I do know that PG County’s animal control division is tragically under-funded and the staff incredibly over-worked. They have made great strides in recent years by building partnerships with area rescues to pull as many dogs as possible, thereby reducing the euthanasia rate, but in the end, it’s not enough.

      • Oops, I just replied by email, but since this is public I do want to reply publicly too, so here’s what I said:

        The open admission shelter in Austin had a 92% save rate last month. The old director was replaced, the shelter now works with those other groups, and that shelter is now “no kill”–newly so, but it is a no-kill open admission shelter. The Allegany County shelter is open admission, and I think Lynchburg is too. There are a number of open admission shelters saving 90+% of animals, even with severely limited funding and with antiquated, limited facilities. The number of kennels is a matter of math; the number of fosters and volunteers is a matter of outreach and if done right can make up for limited kennels.

        I felt the same way you do when I first started volunteering at the shelter in Louisville, and then I got more involved, saw what was going on behind the scenes, and stopped believing the excuses. If the staff at PG is overworked, they are probably not bringing in enough volunteers. It’s not that there aren’t enough volunteers; it’s that they are not reaching them. Of the 23 students in my class, probably 18 are interested in shelter animals and want to help, and none–not a single one–had ever had a shelter ask for their help through school, or a community group, or their parents’ work, or a letter in the newspaper or other media. Some had volunteered through rescues, but not through their underfunded, overworked shelters. I bet it’s no different there.

  6. French bulldog, Boston terrier… they look alike so much alike, those ears could be either!

    Here’s to finding a forever home where he’ll be safe and sound and free from neglect and cruelty!

  7. So cute. I just want to put him in my pocket. And those ears!!

    I am so glad you are foseting again. Gonzo looks like another rock star!

  8. Bunny ears and a red collar to match! We can’t wait to read about Gonzo’s adventures! Thanks for all you’re doing to help these guys, Aleksandra and entourage.

  9. Life is good for Gonzo. He’s a doll. I’ve been seeing him on the pet harbor website, while looking for a lost rescue dog. So happy he’s with you.

  10. He is so cute; I can’t wait to read more about him. Those ears are hilarious. It is astounding that his owners just gave him up. Though, Mr. B came from a similar situation where his current owners just let him run loose and they gave him up rather than paying the fines.
    Also…we liked the hoodies Lollie and Chick wore so much, that we ordered a pair. Miss M wore the green one for St. Patrick’s day.

  11. Wow, Gonzo is so handsome!! My boyfriend and I have recently started to foster dogs as well (in Baltimore), and it’s such a rewarding experience. I Googled other blogs to start reading about others’ experiences with bully breeds and fostering, and I was fortunate enough to find your blog! I love your posts and beautiful photos, plus it’s cool that you’re close by! Can’t wait to read more 🙂

    • Hi Harper, Thanks for fostering!! These sweethearts need as much love as they can get, and fostering is such an important way to make a difference. I especially love adopting my fosters out to people who never would have dreamed of owning a bully until they met ours and saw how well they fit into a normal, simple life. Thanks too for all the sweet compliments. Keep me up to date on how it goes for you! Aleksandra

  12. OHMYGOD those ears!!! What a cutie pie. So happy you are fostering again- Gonzo is so lucky to be with you and your hubby!

  13. How sweet is he! The hubs and I are hoping to foster one day, we got our boy through a shelter that fosters all their pups out and we loved being able to meet him in a home environment. Before we can dive into a foster dog we need to get some glitches worked out with Bossco, so until then we will be living vicariously through your foster stories! I can’t wait to read more about this adorable boy!

    • Alana, that is so important. Sometimes we think that we are doing our own Chick a disservice by fostering, because truthfully he hasn’t enjoyed it that much to date. He is not 100% dog friendly, so there is a lot of crate-and-rotate at our house, and some very strictly supervised free range time. We keep hoping that he will fall in love with one of our fosters and they will be best buds like he is with some of our friends’ dogs, but alas- no luck yet.
      Good luck with Bossco!

  14. Welcome Gonzo Bunny Ears! I hope you find the right forever home really, really soon. In the meantime have fun with Chick 🙂

  15. Yay for a new foster…and such a cute one! Those ears are awesome. He’s a lucky dogger to be fostering with you guys. I hope someone snatches him up soon! Please give those ears a tug for us. 🙂

  16. Well if he has some staffie in him he is just a little on the small side:
    (AKC breed standard) Ranging in size from 14 to 16 inches tall at the shoulder and 24 to 38 pounds.
    With all these people “upsizing” their staffies and pits we forget that they started out as a smaller dog. This being said, I have a 1/2 weimaraner/staffie-lab (?) cross who is almost 90 lbs and 24″ of pure muscle and a block head to match.

    Total mush!

    I love this little guy’s expression. And his freckles!! Just too cute.

    Keep up the good work! I wish I had time, energy and enough room to foster in my house too!


  17. Oh my gosh! Things get busy at work for just two weeks and all of a sudden I’ve missed all the good news. I want to squeeze his little head so he knows how cute he is! (I do that to Téa all of the time – she seems to get it.)

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