Bullmarket French Bulldog Breeders

Should Dakota Be Saved?

Update: RIP, Dakota.


The French Bulldog Rescue community is currently abuzz over a French Bulldog named Dakota. I have my own experience with a biting French Bulldog that caused a furor – a little cranky dog aptly nicknamed Cujo, who quite honestly is the only Frenchie who has ever scared the beejesus out of me. My friend Charlotte fostered him, and Charlotte was convinced that with enough love and enough training, Cujo could be redeemed. Within five minutes of meeting him, my opinion was that the kindest thing to do with Cujo would be to put him down.

When that happened, the public outcry was enormous – strident enough that I packed it in on a few mailing lists after Charlotte was called a “murderer”. Funny how, when I said to some of the women screaming loudly that, the next time a biting dog showed up on rescue’s doorsteps, we’d happily pack it in a box and ship it to their homes, they instantly let us know that “oh, no – I can’t foster a dog, especially not one who bites. I just think someone else should have done something”.

In Dakota’s case, there are lots of “someone else’s” willing to do something, and that includes volunteers who have previously had Dakota in their homes. In this case, the question becomes “Are you still allowed to call yourself a rescue, if you refuse to allow your volunteers to allow to rescue a dog?”. Or do rescues have the right to make executive decisions about the fate of dogs that people are, quite literally, begging to help?

Let me know your opinions. If you feel, like I do, that Dakota’s supporters deserve the chance to try to save him, then sign the petition. It might not do much, but it will let you make your opinions known to FBRN.

Here’s Dakota’s story, from the Petition Site:


Do you remember why you joined FBRN?


I joined in 2009 as a tribute to my little sister Jessie. She took her life that year in March, at 28 years old, and I joined in August to honor her memory and to save as many dogs as I could. Because I could not save her.

When I first joined, I remember Steph & TJ posting about Dakota. FBRN was giving this dog with a terrible history a chance! It was wonderful! How proud I was to be part of this group. I read every post Steph wrote detailing the progresses they had made with Dakota. I watched the video of Dakota singing. I looked at all pictures, and even got a glimpse or 2 of Fergus! The work they did with Dakota was AMAZING and showed such dedication . I even read as Dakota was adopted out and returned. And Steph and TJ took him back.

When TJ moved back to CT and Steph could not keep Dakota with her in her apartment, I helped on the transport to get Dakota to Gary. Soon after I heard Gary adopted him and was happy he had finally found a permanent home of his own.

On September 22nd, Dakota bit Gary’s finger through his nail. As volunteers for FBRN, you have the right to know what is now happening. DAKOTA IS TO BE PUT TO SLEEP. Despite TJ offering to take him back, offering to sign any and all releases so FBRN is not held liable. Despite another rescue, knowing all of the facts, having offered to take him.  There has been begging and pleading.  And the Board of FBRN will not budge and has decided to put Dakota to sleep.

PLEASE SPEAK UP. Say something if you disagree! There are people out there willing to SAVE Dakota and accept him for his quirks and imperfections.  There is a viable option and someplace for Dakota to go.  But the Board is saying no, he should be killed.  Who are we to end his life?  Isn’t this a rescue?  I joined FBRN to save the lives of dogs, not end them when unnecessary. HELP SAVE DAKOTA!


11 replies
  1. Eleanor Deberry
    Eleanor Deberry says:

    Carol–Under the circumstances as I understand them, I can see NO downside to sparing Dakota and letting him go to one of the people who want him, preferably TJ, from what I have read. To kill him smacks of petty vindictiveness and cruelty–certainly not what rescues are (supposed to be) about.

  2. Robin Homsey-Blaine
    Robin Homsey-Blaine says:

    carol I have fostered dog with dog/dog aggression but never one with people aggression. that being said, it is my belief that if the foster home of that dog wants to take him back and sign any and all waivers releasing the rescue from any responsibility…what is the problem? the prior foster home of two years, knows the dog (in this case dakota) and has no problem taking him back. I'm sorry but I think fbrn is wrong on so many levels! at the very least, perhaps they can offer dakota up to another rescue that has the ability to rehab this dog and the volunteers that are willing to care for and work with him. I am a former volunteer with fbrn, but also a volunteer that voiced a truth and exposed the powers that be for what they are (egotistical, hypocritical, liars) and for that was pushed out. I will not now or ever agree with a decision to put a dog down where there are viable options. I totally "get" that some dogs are just "wired wrong" but this dog has a former home that is willing and able to take this dog back despite his quirks and bite history.

  3. Michelle Wynn Tippets
    Michelle Wynn Tippets says:

    Don't understand why FBRN would choose to PTS a dog that people are "begging" to help. I think Dakota should be afforded the opportunity to go back to the home where he thrived or to one of the many willing to take him.

  4. Sandra Stegman
    Sandra Stegman says:

    Across the world, humans turn their backs on dogs as if they were disposable. NOT in this case! People are begging to help Dakota. Why not let them? How can you turn your back on an outstretched hand willing to help? Get your ego out of the way and think about the dog!

  5. Linda Gordon
    Linda Gordon says:

    Mike Vick has had a reprieve and is earning millions. Why doesn't Dakota earn the chance to live particularly since TJ is willing to take him back?

  6. Linda Gordon
    Linda Gordon says:

    I just scrolled down on this page. So sorry for all the people who wanted to see him saved. At least now he is at the Rainbow Bridge where he will be treated with kindness and compassion for ever.

  7. Susan Rosenau
    Susan Rosenau says:

    If there's one thing I've heard consistently about FBRN, it's that they will not tolerate anyone who challenges their position on anything. Dakota never really had a chance once the decision was made, especially once it went public. Saving dogs takes a back seat to their egos.

  8. Mary Scheffke
    Mary Scheffke says:

    all vidoes of Dakota have been taken down and are unable to be viewed publically. May Dakota rest in peace and know that many fought for him and cared.


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