Willing Hearts Dal Rescue, Inc. is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization. We are small group of volunteers who bonded through the internet because of their common love of the Dalmatian breed. It is our mission to rescue dals who have been abandoned, abused, and those in shelters facing death. We take dals into our homes and foster them while we evaluate them for temperament while teaching them to love and trust again, and give them all the medical care they need including spay and neuter. Presently we are so overloaded that we have had to kennel a few as we have no foster homes available. We charge an adoption fee of $250, which does not begin to cover the costs we have incurred. If you are interested in adopting a dal from us, please go to our website www.dogsaver.org/willinghearts and there you will find an online application. Please be patient with us, as we all work full time jobs and try to get done what we can in our spare time. Transportation can be arranged through Willing Hearts volunteers.
What We Do . . .
Willing Hearts rescues Dalmatians from shelters and from neglecting or abusive homes. Since we have limited foster space, we are unable to take most owner turn-ins. However, if the Dalmatian is spayed or neutered, we will list the dog on our website and help the owners find a suitable new home for their dog.
We also offer phone support and advice to owners whose dogs have behavioral or training issues, educate the public about the breed, and we refer people looking for purebred puppies to reputable breeders when we don't have any in our program.
One of the most important aspects of our work is placing the rescued dogs into foster homes with our volunteers. Fostering the dogs in our homes allows us to better evaluate the dog's temperament and personality. This knowledge helps place the Dal into an adoptive home where he/she will best fit and be most loved.
What does a foster home provide?
A foster home provides a safe environment for the dog until it is adopted. While in a foster home, they get the love, attention, exercise, and socialization that may have been missing previously. In addition, the dogs are given any and all of the necessary medical attention prior to their adoption.
How to Become a Foster Home
Willing Hearts Dalmatian Rescue is always looking for new volunteers. There are always more dogs that need our help. If you are interested in helping save the lives of these wonderful dogs, email email@example.com or call 610-948-5898
WHDR's Adoption Process
Interested in adopting one of our dogs? Here's what you need to do:
2. A WHDR volunteer will contact you regarding the Dal you are interested in or one that may be more suited to your lifestyle. The volunteer may also inform you of Dals available in a shelter near you.
3. The adoption committee will check your vet and personal references and set up a time for a home visit.
4. Finally, the volunteer will arrange the time and place (often your home or the foster home) for the adoption.
5. You will sign the WHDR Adoption Contract which stipulates that if anything ever happens in which the dog is no longer able to remain living with you, you will return the dog to Willing Hearts; not to a shelter, another family or have him/her euthanized.
6. We ask for an adoption fee of $250 to cover our ongoing costs such as vet bills and kenneling fees for dogs waiting for foster slots.
7. All dogs over six months of age are spayed or neutered prior to adoption. Adopters of puppies are required to provide proof of spay/neuter by 8 months of age.
What is a Dalmatian?
• Medium to large size dog, usually standing 19-24 inches at the shoulder and weighing 40-65 pounds.
• Short, smooth, white coat with black or liver (brown) spots. Other colors are possible, but rare.
• No undercoat, so there is little or no protection from the heat or cold. They are not well equipped to live the life of an outside dog.
• Brown, blue or sometimes green eyes.
• Bred for intelligence and endurance, Dals need daily exercise and other activities to channel their energy and curiosity.
• Historically protective, and with a very high prey drive, they can become territorial and overly possessive if not shown clear leadership.
• Most of all, a Dal loves to be with its family -- a real "people dog" craving your attention and companionship for all of its 10-13 years with you. Origins and Background
The best researchers on the Dalmatian's history conclude that we cannot actually pinpoint its origin. Although it has many different names in many different areas, today's Dalmatian is named for its first proven home, Dalmatia, a province in Eastern Europe.
The Dalmatian has been a dog of war, a sentinel, a draft dog, and shepherd. For sport, Dals have been used to track, point, and retrieve, or in packs to hunt deer or wild boar. Over the years, Dalmatians have been used in almost every job imaginable.
Since its early days with the gypsy caravans, the Dalmatian has been known for its affinity for horses. This is how they earned their place as the one and only coach dog. Subsequently used by fire stations to hunt rats, guard the stables, calm and protect the horses, clear the roads and control the crowds, the Dal earned its most famous role as the firehouse mascot.
They also work as stage performers, serve in K-9 units and act as therapy dogs for elderly people. You name it and Dals do it! Dalmatian Health Issues
Deafness: Unfortunately, the number one health concern that people talk about in the Dalmatian breed, isn't a health issue at all. The genetic code that gives these dogs their brilliant white coats, and makes them the most recognized breed in the world, is one of the known factors of hereditary deafness. Deafness does not cause any health problems for the dogs. A deaf Dalmatian is every bit as healthy, energetic, and trainable as its hearing counterparts. For more information on the causes of deafness or the training of deaf dogs, you can visit www.deafdogs.org.
Bladder Stones: Urinary Infections: Dalmatians have a unique problem processing purine-forming proteins that may cause bladder stones and urinary tract infections. To offset this condition, feed your Dalmatian a medium to low protein dog food or a diet low in purine forming proteins. Neglecting this special need can be serious, or even fatal.
Allergies: Many Dalmatians are prone to skin allergies. These sensitivities can be caused by their diet, chemicals, dust, pollen, all the same things that can affect people. Seek a veterinarian's advice whenever you notice these to minimize your pet's discomfort and avoid secondary infections.
Other issues: A small number of Dalmatians have been known to suffer from seizures, thyroid problems or hip dysplasia,. These conditions should always be discussed with your vet.
Health & Safety Guidelines
• Provide your Dalmatian with an annual veterinary check-up.
• Keep him/her up-to-date with required vaccinations and administer flea, tick, and heartworm preventives as directed by your veterinarian.
• Spay/neuter your Dal to prevent a variety of physical problems and avoid producing more unwanted litters.
• Avoid foods with a high beef or liver content to reduce the risk of stone forming.
• Avoid foods with wheat or corn, as these grains are often linked to the allergic reactions.
• Always have fresh drinking water available both indoors and outdoors.
• Always walk on a leash and exercise in a secured (fenced) area. Keep current identification on your dog at all times.
• Dalmatians shed all year long. Daily brushing can help minimize this.
• Owners need to commit time and provide clear leadership for their Dalmatian. Consistent training and continuing socialization help avoid many behavior problems.