Many times, boxers are placed in situations not of their making. There are times when their owners just cannot care for them. And there are times when somebody buys a boxer puppy without understanding the breed's personality and traits and the care a boxer requires.

These dogs are either given away or end up in local animal shelters. Today, there are individual and groups of people who rescue boxers, give them the veterinary care they need and strive to place them in loving homes. There are, for the most part, nothing wrong with these dogs. They need a bit of TLC and patience and can very easily become a cherished member of the household. The older puppy or the adult dog can 'bond' with its new owners very quickly. Many times, these dogs will appreciate and seem to 'know' a good home, since they have experienced the worst care scenario.

Before you adopt, you want to make sure of several things.

Temperament. Boxers are generally easy-going and happy-go-lucky dogs with a lot of energy. There are the occassional boxer that has a bad temperament and, in many (not ALL) instances, the temperament is dangerous to family members, friends and the general public. Make sure that the prospective adoptive boxer has the boxer temperament.

Health issues. Many boxers who end up in rescue situations (especially animal shelters) might have upper-respiratory problems, worms, fleas,ticks or other things. These are quickly and easily treated. However, the issue that is of upmost concern is heartworms. Heartworms, because there are mosquitos abundant in Texas, can be problematic to many rescue groups. The actual heartworm treatment, while rough on the dog, can take care of the worms and the dog can live a healthy, active life. In some severe instances, the heartworms infiltrate the dog's heart and can cause some damage. Again, the dog can live a healthy life but a frank talk with your veterinarian is always encouraged.

When you decide to rescue a boxer, a rescue organization will ask you to fill out an adoption form. Don't be alarmed and always be honest. Many rescue groups have specific guidelines for adopting a rescue boxer and they should either be listed on their website or available from a rescue volunteer. There may be personal or veterinary references required or a home visit. Please understand that the volunteers with these rescue grous have put in such hard work and have an emotional bond with these abandoned and unwanted dogs, that they are striving to ensure that the forever home the dog goes to is, indeed, going to be forever. A reputable rescue group does not make a profit on their adoptions, so a little extra to the group can go a long way in helping other rescued boxers. Fostering a rescued boxer or helping with fundraisers is also another way to give back to a rescue group and that help is always appreciated-if not from the humans, from the dogs.

Please contact a member of the board of directors for a reference to a local rescue group.