Bichon Rescue

Frequently Asked Questions about Bichon Rescue

1. Where do we find our Bichon rescue dogs?
As members of the Bichon Frise Club of San Diego, we often receive calls from owners who for various reasons, can no longer keep their Bichons (increased work hours, changes in family situations, extensive travel, relocation, illness, death of an owner, veterinary expenses).
We work in cooperation with several Bichon Frise rescue groups, other bichon owners and local shelters to find homes for Bichons who come to them for some of the same reasons above as well as Bichons who are lost, deserted and sadly, often mistreated.  We work closely with each rescue group or owners to determine the needs and options for each dog.
Each rescue group has it’s own placement protocol, although they typically follow this regimen.  Before placement, the dog is bathed and groomed, checked by a vet, given necessary inoculations and tested for heartworm, neutered/spayed, sometimes micro-chipped and placed in a temporary foster home where it is evaluated for temperament and personality. Because this is costly and the rescue groups are run by volunteers, they usually request an adoption donation of at least $350. In some special situations. (for example an older dog) the fee may be waived or reduced.  Fees for puppies are somewhat higher.
2. Will your rescue dog be a purebred Bichon Frise?
Many rescued dogs come to rescue without documentation. The rescue teams experience with the breed helps them determine the status and possible mix of the animal.  WIthout documentation, the purebred status cannot be assured.
3. Is a Bichon the right pet for you?
Of course, we are prejudiced, but we think Bichons are the most cheerful, intelligent, loving and intuitive companions dogs in the world. BUT–If you are thinking of adopting one, here are some facts you should consider:
  • Bichons are NOT low maintenance dogs. They do not shed but their profuse white coats need to be brushed regularly (preferably daily) to avoid matting. They should be groomed professionally every 4-6 weeks and this can be costly.
  • Bichons are companion dogs. They need to be with their people to be happy. They demand a great deal of love and attention. They do not do well being alone for more than a few hours. Many develop separation anxiety when left alone too long.
  • Every breed has potential health issues. Bichons may develop skin allergies, ear infections, bladder stones, patellar (knee) luxation and juvenile cataracts.
  • Bichons can be difficult to housebreak–do you have the time and patience??
4. How can you adopt a Bichon?
If you are still interested in adopting a Bichon, and would like more information about our Bichon rescue process, please visit these bichon rescue sites.  Current contact information, including email and phone numbers will be listed on each site.
You will see photos of the dogs that are available for adoption and their web sites are generally updated weekly, or more often. If you are interested, the first step is to fill out their on-line application. One of their rescue volunteers will call you to set up a home safety check and then someone will contact you as soon as they feel they have a Bichon that would be a probable fit.

Other ways to help bichons  —  Support the Ellen and Carol Colwell Bichon Frise Rescue Fund

The purpose of the Ellen and Carol Colwell Bichon Frise Rescue Fund is to provide assistance to pure bred Bichons Frises who are in need of support of any kind. A committee of members of the Bichon Frise Club of San Diego administers the fund. All allocation of funds will be determined by the committee’s approval of applications requesting support. Primary consideration is given to individuals who have not been able to find support from other sources rather than rescue organizations. Funds will only be paid to the parties providing the care to the Bichon. Funds are not distributed to applicants.

Colwell Fund Application    <<—- click the link to download the form and instructions to apply for assistance from the Fund. 
To keep the fund financially secure, please consider making a donation to the Fund by selecting the Donate button.    


For more detailed information on the breed, go to the Bichon Frise Club of America website:

If you have any further questions, one of the Bichon Frise Club of San Diego rescue volunteers will be happy to assist you.
Orange County — Sandy Phillips,  714-990-3484
Oceanside — Linda Rowe,  760-758-8914
San Diego — Betty Ribble, 858-484-5240
Apple Valley — Elizabeth Byers, 760-713-6472