Bergen Seeks His Forever Home – And a Word About Securing Pets

We have a happy update on Bergen, one of the members of a family of five whom BCFS rescued from a puppy mill. Bergen is the last of the family members in our foster care program after his mom, sister and two brothers were successfully adopted.

5dogsbcfsresizedsmallerBergen’s family, clockwise from upper left: mama Delana, sister Allura, Bergen, and brothers Ruger and Fenton

Bergen is a survivor. He survived life in a puppy mill and then he survived three days running loose all by himself after he escaped the home of the family who adopted him from BCFS on October 30th. The day after his adoption, Bergen went missing and was out in the cold and rain by himself.

Through the team efforts of BCFS’ founder Amy and her husband Brent, BCFS volunteers who posted missing notices on social media, Bergen’s adoptive family who were out searching for Bergen, and the kindness of residents of Hunters Point in Welland who fed Bergen and reported his whereabouts on social media, we were able to set a live trap for Bergen in the vicinity where he’d been spotted.

Amy and Brent’s live trap failed! But, one of the families in this subdivision managed to trap Bergen in their fenced backyard. They put out food and watched and waited until he took the bait and then they shut the gate! Got him! 

Bergen was captured and BCFS was called. Amy and Brent had ear-to-ear smiles as they brought him back safely to BCFS on November 4th, 2016.

bergenamybrentrescueBCFS’ founder Amy and husband Brent with Bergen, safe and sound

He was tired and a little thinner but luckily uninjured from his time spent loose on his own. Bergen’s adoptive family decided he wasn’t a good fit for them and we were happy to have Bergen back in BCFS’ foster care program.


We decided Bergen needed time in a specialized foster home (that BCFS is lucky to have!) who are working with Bergen to socialize him further and minimize his flight risk.

One of our most experienced foster families, Raye and her husband Paul, are now fostering Bergen. Raye and Paul have done wonders for several of BCFS’ rescued dogs, spending many months rehabilitating them in foster care, caring for our permanent Cushings foster Harriette and have adopted Pippa/Abby from BCFS.

bergenatrayes11-24threeBergen is now relaxing with his canine foster siblings Pippa/Abby and Harriette, and gaining confidence.

Raye updates us on Bergen:

“He has settled in and is not trying as hard to escape. He loves walks and has started to stay still for me to leash him. He and Ben (senior rottie) have done romping in the back yard and he gets along well with all the animals and people. He even licks my toes in the morning to say hello. I would suggest he not be adopted to a family unless they have both a fenced yard and a companion dog for him to play with. He will take some time bonding but I am sure he will make a wonderful addition to the right family who will spend time with him.”



Bergen needs to go to a home with another dog and a securely fenced yard.


He’s a sweet boy, a handsome cross who is three years old and healthy.

bergenatrayes11-24Bergen, right, curls up on the couch with his foster siblings

This boy will need a bit of time to come out of his shell and bond closely with you but with love, patience, attention and care, he’ll make a wonderful family member.


Are you Bergen’s forever family? Can this sweet, shy boy find a place in your heart and home, with a dog friend and fenced yard? If so please download an adoption application and when completed email it to our Adoptions Coordinator Silvana at:


Thank you to everyone who helped Bergen and aided in his safe capture, and thank you for considering adopting Bergen.

Bergen’s Escape: A Lesson for All

We’re relieved that Bergen came through his escape and capture unscathed. We think Bergen’s escape from his adoptive home and subsequent capture is an opportunity to help educate all adoptive families, whether you adopt from BCFS or another rescue or shelter, because all animals are potentially at risk of escaping or getting lost.

That’s especially true when you first adopt a new animal. The heartache and fear for your animal’s safety when they’re lost is something we hope you never experience, and educating adoptive families is the key to prevention.

In our adoption application we note: “Rescue animals will go through a period of adjustment when entering their new forever home.” That is very true – this is a first for a BCFS dog to go missing after adoption but most newly adopted dogs who go missing are lost in the first 24-48 hours.

It’s important to understand things from a rescue dog’s point of view. He or she may come from a puppy mill where they’ve been caged and bred for years and have never known freedom, or from a loving home where their owner died or became too sick to care for them, to spending weeks in a noisy shelter before they arrive at BCFS. They may then be fostered by us or one of our foster families, and then they move one more time into your home.

It’s a lot of big changes for rescued dogs and they may feel a bit bewildered and insecure until they settle in and bond with you. Their impulse to run may be heightened during their adjustment period. All adopted animals need time, patience, love and most importantly diligence from you to ensure their security as they adjust to their new home and family.

From a dog’s point of view, new surroundings and new people, no matter how kind, can be confusing and unsettling. That can increase their flight risk.

As adoptive families we all need to take extra care to make sure our new four-legged family members are secured in our homes, cars and on our properties, especially when they’re first adopted.

Make sure your dog’s collar or harness is correctly fitted, your leash is strong enough, double-check doors and gates to make sure there’s no chance of escape, and if you have a fenced yard it’s a good idea to do a close check to make sure the entire perimeter of your fence is sturdy and secure. Some dogs are diggers and can dig their way out under a fence so regular checks are advised.


BCFS microchips every dog before we adopt them out and we recommend microchipping your pets. Microchipping is safe, inexpensive and can identify your pet if he/she is lost and brought to a shelter, animal control, or veterinarian’s office, to help you be reunited.

Every year, thousands of dogs, whether newly adopted or longtime family members, go missing. It’s a heartbreaking event for any family to lose a pet. Lost and found networks online list countless dogs and cats who escaped their homes or yards, who were left unattended or even jumped out of a car and ran away during a stop on a road trip.

As animal guardians we must all be careful and vigilant to protect the ones we love.


3 thoughts on “Bergen Seeks His Forever Home – And a Word About Securing Pets”

  1. As soon as you mentioned Bergen would need a specialized and experienced foster home, I knew right away that you were referring to Raye and Paul :)

    They did such a wonderful job with Molly (Allura) and provided us with some great tips and information to help us ease Molly into her new home and routine :) They are such a lovely couple :)

    We are thrilled to see that Molly’s mom and two brothers were adopted and I’m sure Bergen won’t be far behind, especially after Raye and Paul work a bit of their magic :)

    1. I can’t tell you how happy we are to have Raye and Paul as a great weapon in our rehab program. They have saved so many lives and we are so incredibly grateful to have them!

  2. Best advice on adopting a new member of your family. It is worth repeating often!! I am a HUGE believer in collars with ID TAGS ALWAYS!!!! If you wash the dogs, the first thing to go back on is a collar with tags. I work in an SPCA and I cannot tell you how many people come in to look in our stray department for a lost dog who say they didn’t have any collar, tags, or that their dog isn’t microchipped. They are broken hearted. The CHEAPEST, surest , and least expensive way to retrieve a lost animal is a collar and tags. DO IT TODAY,

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