The Policies

Due to limited financial and fostering resources, it is our policy to give preference to purebred Basenjis. Under these limited circumstances, BRAT will take ownership of Basenji mixes that resemble* purebred Basenjis:

  • A pregnant purebred delivers mixed breed puppies.
  • A bonded pair, one a purebred Basenji, the other a Basenji mix.
  • A volunteer takes possession of a mix believing it is a purebred.**

Our IRS determination letter, which reflects we are a qualified 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, may only be used when taking possession of a dog that will become a BRAT-owned mix. The letter may not be used to secure the release of a Basenji mix in the event the dog will not be a BRAT supported rescue.

BRAT's Board of Directors needs to approve all Basenji mixes that will become BRAT-owned, and will make exceptions to the policies on a case-by-case basis.

* We look for traits in Basenji mixes that resemble purebred Basenjis (e.g. prick ears, curly tail, short, smooth coat, etc.)

** This has happened when an inexperienced BRAT volunteer, unfamiliar with the appearance of a purebred, takes possession of a mix, believing it is a purebred.

These scenarios can be avoided if volunteers always request photos before any action is taken. We cannot stress enough the importance of photos – GET PHOTOS before you act! (If a volunteer needs help identifying a dog, refer to BRAT's Shelter Letter or contact us.

If a BRAT volunteer meets the dog and it is not a purebred Basenji, the volunteer should not take possession of the dog unless the volunteer is willing to care for the dog without BRAT’s help.

If the dog resembles a purebred Basenji, contact us about a courtesy listing.

BRAT's Philosophy About Mixed Breed Dogs

BRAT’s mission is to rescue purebred Basenjis in need—an ongoing and never-ending challenge for our administrators and volunteers. In rare cases we will take ownership of mixes that resemble purebred Basenjis, and these dogs are coordinated like the purebreds with two exceptions: their fees are lower, and they are listed on our mix page.

If we do not take ownership of the Basenji mix, but the dog resembles a purebred Basenji, we may offer a courtesy post on our mix page. It is important to understand that we are best able to help Basenji mixes if they actually resemble a purebred. Website visitors who don’t see a purebred that works for them might look at our mix page. They are more likely to adopt a mix if it actually resembles a purebred Basenji.

We are sympathetic to all homeless mixed breed dogs, but we do not have the volunteer or financial resources to evaluate, vet, coordinate, foster, transport, and place Basenji mixes that are not BRAT-owned. Unless we know without a doubt that the dog is at least 50% purebred Basenji—for example a pregnant purebred—we cannot care for mixes except under the limited circumstances outlined above.

While we encourage BRAT volunteers to search online and in local shelters for purebreds, we discourage volunteers from reporting mixes to the BRAT Board of Directors, BRAT Administrators, or posting on our Facebook pages for help. If you truly believe the dog is a Basenji mix because it resembles a purebred Basenji, get photos and characteristics of the dog and contact us. We may be able to contact the shelter, rescue group, or individual to offer a courtesy posting on our mix page.

Please note that all communication we receive gets our full attention whether the dog is said to be a purebred or a mix; we always follow up and ask for photos of the dog. Because the Basenji is a rare breed and may be mistaken for a mix, we follow up on every situation to the best of our ability. This is a huge job for our administrators and our mix coordinator.

If a mixed breed dog does not resemble a purebred, we will not offer a courtesy post. However, we do provide helpful alternatives. The Humane Society’s page Finding a Responsible Home for Your Pet includes information about how to find a responsible home for your dog on your own. The ASPCA lists The Shelter Pet Project where you can find both shelters and rescue groups by zip code. Adopt a Pet has a similar feature to help you find shelters and rescue groups in your area. Though individuals cannot post to Petfinder, in some cases, local rescue groups will post your dog on their Petfinder page. Rescue Me! allows individuals (as well as shelters and rescue groups) to list dogs.

Should craigslist be used to find your pet a home? Selling pets on craigslist is on their prohibited list. Posted on the CL website: “[Prohibited:] pet sales (re-homing with small adoption fee OK), animal parts, stud service.” We find this somewhat ambiguous, so we assume this statement gives craigslist administrators some wiggle room to weigh in on a case-by-case basis.

Craigslist has posted two perspectives on “free to good home” ads by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and American Association for Laboratory Animal Science (AALAS)

BRAT's Current Mix Program

BRAT receives an enormous number of requests for help with mixed breed dogs from many sources. Our mix coordinator has many challenges and can sometimes become overwhelmed addressing the many pleas for help. To help simplify the process, she asks for photos early on to determine whether the dog is a purebred Basenji or resembles a purebred Basenji. She may send our Shelter Letter that outlines who BRAT is, what a Basenji looks like, and what some of the breed’s characteristics are.

Most often, the dogs we see are mixes that do not resemble a purebred Basenji. The next step is to refer the dog’s owner (shelters and rescue groups often have this information) to various sites on the Internet that offer advice about finding a dog a good home.

If the dog does resemble a Basenji, the mix coordinator will ask probing questions about the dog’s temperament; if acceptable, she will send an email detailing the procedure to create a courtesy posting for our mix page. Once she offers a listing, she will work closely with the shelter, rescue group, or individual to help them compose a description highlighting the dog’s personality to appeal to a new owner. She will also format the information form. Once the dog is listed, she will follow up every month to make sure the dog is still available and to inquire about the dog’s general status.

Once listed on our site, adoption communication is between the shelter, rescue group or individual and the potential adopter.

Revision date 08/08/2015