Jupiter volunteers help dogs find forever homes

Jupiter High teachers and students have teamed up with Big Dog Ranch Rescue in an effort to place adoptable dogs with their forever families. 

BDRR is an organization in Loxahatchee Groves, Fla. that has been offering opportunities to people who are looking to volunteer, foster and adopt dogs since 2008.

To adopt a dog from BDRR, fill out an adoption form that can be found on their website, pick out your dog and pay your adoption fee.

Krystal Dunteman, a Jupiter High senior, has volunteered at BDRR in the past.

“I enjoyed seeing the good care they take of the dogs there and how enthusiastic everyone was there who was volunteering,” Dunteman said. 

In addition to helping dogs find homes, BDRR volunteers make sure that supplies from supply drives are taken care of and delivered to the right places. 

Randall Weatherdon, a Jupiter High history teacher, has a passion for helping rescue dogs and works with shelters in Orlando. He enjoys his time volunteering but says the work is not for everyone. He cautions those who may want to volunteer that, at times, the work is difficult and requires a long-term commitment, especially if you make connections to the dogs.   

“Having volunteers that show up week after week is a big problem…because frankly a lot of people are just not cut out for that kind of work,” Weatherdon said. 

At BDRR, Dunteman made strong connections with the rescue dogs. 

“I remember seeing this one dog out by where the pool was and he looked so happy like he was having the best day of his life,” Dunteman said. “It occurred to me that these dogs appreciate everything that is given to them.”

Those who volunteer consistently learn a lot about the animals they are taking care of, such as their different personalities and needs. 

“I loved the variety of personalities, and the staff was amazing. They knew each animal and could tell you everything about them,” Christine Sessa, a Jupiter resident, said. “They really took the time to work with the dogs and to get to know their personalities so they could help you find a good fit.”

Some dogs at BDRR were rescued after natural disasters and from out-of-state. BDRR received some dogs through their Miracle Fund, which was inspired by a dog that survived Hurricane Dorian in 2019.

BDRR now goes out and helps all sorts of urgent-care dogs as well. Their Miracle Fund recently reached out to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Ida and managed to save about two dozen animals from the damage. 

To find out more about volunteering or adoptions, visit www.bdrr.org