Special Adoptions for Seized Dogs

Welcome to the Special Adoptions page at Orange County Animal Services. This page is dedicated to animals available via special adoption process and application. These dogs include bulldogs and other breeds seized in Chapel Hill in October 2019.

In October 2019, Animal Services rescued almost 60 dogs from a negligent breeder in Chapel Hill. This number soon increased to nearly 80 dogs once some of the females had puppies (they were pregnant when they arrived at our shelter). We have been caring for these dogs and providing medical treatment as needed. 

This has been a very successful rescue and we are so appreciative of our supportive community throughout this big adventure! Please read the information below to make sure you understand the rules of this adoption process. Please also read our special statement about bulldog breed health concerns before applying to adopt.

Application Process Information, Regulations, and Instructions

  • Adoption fees are the same as our regularly-priced fees at Animal Services:
    • Puppies: $135
    • Dogs: $120
    • These dogs and pups are excluded from any other adoption special. 
  • Potential adopters will be randomly chosen in a drawing for each dog. All applications will have an equal chance of being chosen. Odds of being chosen depend on how many applications are received. You will only receive a response if you are chosen in a drawing.
  • Each Saturday at 5:00 pm (beginning January 25th), a new batch of dogs will become available online. At that point, they can be viewed on our special listings page and you may submit an application for adoption.They will also be viewable at the shelter the following Monday at noon. Applications will be accepted for that batch (and that batch only) until 8:00 am on Thursday of that week. Application forms will no longer be able to be submitted for dogs in that batch after that time period.  A winner will be randomly drawn and contacted by noon via phone on that Thursday morning. If staff is unable to reach the person, a voicemail will be left and the person must respond by 3:00 pm or the next name will be drawn.
  • Due to the extremely high number of inquiries and applicants surrounding these dogs, they are not available for regular meetings (Meet & Greets). You will only be able to meet with the dog for which you submit an application if you are chosen in the drawing as a potential adopter. 
  • Only one application per dog per household will be accepted. In other words, we will not accept applications from different people in the same household for one dog. However, a household may put in applications for multiple dogs. We will not adopt out more than one dog per household.
  • If you submit more than one application for the same animal, you will be removed from the drawing for that animal.
  • Applicants must be 18 years or older and must present a government-issued ID (Driver’s License, Military ID, or Passport) at time of adoption. Only the person who has submitted the application may adopt and that person must be present with aforementioned government-issued ID. 
  • If chosen to adopt, full payment in cash or credit card (Visa, Discover, Mastercard) is due at the time of adoption.
  • Once an applicant has been notified that he/she has been chosen to adopt, that applicant must respond to notification and arrive at Animal Services to complete a Meet & Greet and adoption by 4:00 pm on the next business day. If the applicant fails to respond to notification or pick up pet by specified time, they will forfeit the adoption and a new potential adopter will be chosen from applicant pool. There are no restrictions on residency as far as adoptions are concerned, but you must be able to meet the conditions of this adoption process timeline.
  • Please know that we do not have any official documentation or verification that these dogs are pure breeds.

Bulldog Breed Health and Costs of Care

(French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Old English Bulldogs)

These Bulldog breeds (French bulldogs, English Bulldogs, and Old English Bulldogs) have special health concerns and should be seen by a veterinarian for regular checkups. Their wrinkles, skin folds, and tightly curled tails should be kept clean to avoid skin infections. Cherry eye, inverted eyelids, cataracts, and dry eye are some eye abnormalities that often affect Bulldogs. Bulldogs are susceptible to orthopedic issues and commonly experience neck issues, back issues, and other joint-related problems.

Brachycephalic airway syndrome is a common problem in Bulldogs. This condition results in a narrowing of the airway, making it difficult for flat-faced dogs to breathe. Because there is more airway resistance, dogs with this condition can’t cool off as easily, and often overheat faster during warm weather, stress, or exercise. Bulldogs are highly susceptible to heatstroke in hot weather and should live indoors with air conditioning. They should be kept cool and given access to plenty of water. Brachycephalic dogs often experience snorting, loud snoring, coughing, and vomiting. Many dogs require surgery to treat this condition.

 Anyone who adopts a bulldog needs to assume responsibility for their costs of care. Due to high costs of care, these dogs are excellent candidates for pet insurance.



See listings and submit application