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Where You Have Helped


In October 2023, two year old Remi was hit by a car and broke his elbow. The vet said his leg would be amputated unless money could be raised for the more expensive surgery to repair the joint. Your contributions to the BMDCF Rescue Program allowed us to team up with the Buckeye Bernese Mountain Dog Club and the rest of the Berner community to provide the funds to save his leg. He has made an amazing recovery and Remi was taken in by the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition (BARC) to help him find his forever home.

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In April 2023, the Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition (BARC) rescued thirty Berners from a commercial breeder. It was a herculean task carried out by a group of dedicated Berner people who met unbelievable conditions to secure the surrender of these dogs. The story is familiar to most of you but if not, please see the BARC, Inc. Facebook page. The next steps in giving these dogs the lives they deserve is going to be extremely expensive and the Berner community is coming together to provide the funds. The BMDCF is proud to partner with the BMDCA as part of the community that cherishes the breed and its preservation. We support this extraordinary rescue effort and hope that the rescued Berners experience love in their new lives.


The BMDCF was able to quickly respond to BARC with a pledge of $10,000 only because of the Berner community’s generous support of our past fundraisers for Rescue and ongoing donations to our General Fund. For this we thank you; we couldn't have done it without you. It is our goal to be able to react to similar situations with the same expediency and substantial support in the future. But we need your help to ensure that the funds are readily available. Your continued support of our mission by helping us build our endowment will allow us to be there when needed.

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In November 2022, the generosity of the Berner community during our fundraiser for cancer research allowed the BMDCF to award Dr. Matthew Breen at North Carolina State  University a $25,000 grant to continue his work on histiocytic cancer in BMDs. The project funded by this grant will be used to identify mutations in histiocytic tumors in Berners with the intent to target treatment for dogs carrying specific cancer-causing mutations. This will be a huge step forward in fighting this insidious disease.

Dr. Breen thanks the Berner community and all who contributed to funding this grant. 

Dear Joye and the BMD Charitable Foundation,

Thank you so very much for your generous donation to our ongoing canine cancer research. As you know, we have been working hard to learn more about histocytic malignancies in the Berner for many years. Much of our progress has been made possible from studies supported by you and the countless Berner owners who have donated to the BMDCF. The trust you continue to show in our abilities to conduct much needed research is very humbling and what drives us forward each and every day. 

As part of our ongoing work we have identified a series of genetic changes (mutations) in some dog tumors that have not been previously reported. However, when the equivalent mutations are detected in human patients with histiocytic cancers, they are used to help guide treatment and inform outcome for these patients. Our next step towards helping dogs is to determine if these mutations are also present in canine histiocytic malignancies and whether they could be used for guiding treatment selection for our dogs.

As a consequence of our long-standing relationship with the Berner community, our research team here at NC State University has accumulated numerous histiocytic cancer specimens from Berners. With the generosity of the BMDCF we will now be able to further analyze these Berner specimens, with the aim of providing an opportunity to identify the canine patients most likely to respond to specific forms of treatment.

Thank you again for your continued support. This work would not be possible without the sustained generosity of the Berner community.

Kind regards,

Matthew Breen

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In August 2022, Tucker’s Donation to Heidi encapsulated the extremely generous and self-sacrificing nature of Bernese Mountain Dog owners when it comes to possibly helping a Berner in need.

Tucker's Story

Tucker was born in a puppy mill. He had detached retinas and was, therefore, blind but otherwise deemed healthy. He was rescued and found his forever home at 10 weeks of age with a couple who have special skills in raising blind dogs. Unfortunately, with time Tucker’s other problems became evident and he was diagnosed with dwarfism, chondrodysplasia in all four legs and severe hip dysplasia by the age of six months. At 10 months, Tucker suddenly couldn’t walk, and it was discovered that he has subluxating patellas. At times his back legs are rendered useless because his kneecaps slide up into his thighs. Despite his problems he is a happy, loving, good-natured puppy with a great big smile.

When Tucker was 12 months old, his owners thought that fixing his kneecap problem would give him a better quality of life. At least he would be able to walk and play. Facing expensive surgeries to fix both of his legs, his owners started a GoFundMe page for Tucker. On the day of his first surgery, when Tucker was anesthetized, leg shaved and on the table, the vet informed Tucker’s owners that the cost of his surgery was going to be more than they had originally been told and that both legs would need additional surgeries. To their dismay, an original estimate of $8,400 to fix his kneecaps skyrocketed to over $20,000. They could not afford the astronomical price tag but decided that they couldn’t continue to ask strangers for help to pay for the surgeries. In a state of shock and disbelief, they called off the surgery and decided to keep Tucker comfortable with pain medication.

They were told that Tucker’s lifespan would be 18 to 24 months.

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Now at 20 months, Tucker is a trooper and living the best life possible, given his circumstances, thanks to his dedicated human parents.

Tucker’s owners decided to donate the money in Tucker’s GoFundMe account to the Bernese Mountain Dog Charitable Foundation with the stipulation that it go to help a rescue dog with expensive medical needs. They couldn’t afford to fix Tucker but maybe they could make a difference to another Berner.

Heidi's Story

Heidi was born in a puppy mill. At 5 months of age, she was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia and in constant pain. Unable to give her the necessary care, her family decided to give her up through a Rescue Me site. The Bernese Auction Rescue Coalition (BARC) stepped in to get her the medical attention she needed and to find her a home. It was determined that she required a full hip replacement, but was too young for the corrective surgery and was placed with a foster family. When she is about 10 months old, she will be old enough to go ahead with the procedure. The expensive surgery is estimated to be a minimum of $6,000. 


Once healed and rehabilitated, BARC will find her a forever home.


The Bernese Mountain Dog Charitable Foundation has committed the $3,000 donation from Tucker’s family to help cover the cost of Heidi’s surgery. This will significantly reduce the amount of money BARC will have to raise to give Heidi a new hip and a chance for a more normal and pain-free life. Tucker’s donation will certainly make a difference to Heidi.

Check back here for updates to Tucker’s and Heidi’s stories.

10/17/22 - Heidi is a happy, playful 10 month-old, limited only by her hip dysplasia. Heidi's pain is controlled with medication and she is on a strict exercise regimen that includes walking on an underwater treadmill to strengthen her muscles supporting her hips. While she hasn't had any recent x-rays, her foster mom thinks she is still going to need surgery. She will be re-evaluated soon as she is now about old enough to have the surgery.

Tucker is doing well and continues to be a happy go-lucky 21 month-old pup. He gave his parents a scare a couple of weeks ago but with medication has rebounded. He takes his disabilities in stride and doesn't let anything get him down. His mom told it best when she said "he never got the memo that he isn't put together right".


In July 2022, Georgeann Reeve asked if the BMDCF would accept donations in memory of Nell Ward. Nell was the founder of the Rescue Gallery at the BMDCA National Specialties and was passionate about educating people about Berner rescue. Nell’s family asked that donations be set aside for the expenses of the Rescue Gallery and for our Rescue Program in general. Approximately $2,300 was donated. Your donations ensure that the Rescue Gallery will be a part of the National Specialty for years to come.

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In March 2022, the BMDCF made a $3,300 donation out of our unrestricted funds and contributions from our Board members to The Ukrainian Bernese Mountain Dog Relief Fund through Joanne Gerow and the Catskill Animal Rescue. With the help of Berner breeders in Poland donations to this fund were used to get food and supplies to Berner breeders in the Ukraine, and to get dogs and their people out of areas of conflict.


In February and March 2022, you contributed a total of $17,285 to the BMDCF rescue fund between our 2022 Rescue Fundraiser ($10,285) and Longshots at the National ($7,000). Thank you very much to the Berner lovers who have given us the means to help financially assist in rescue situations that arise in the coming year. We couldn't do it without you!

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In July 2021, the BMDCF contributed $500 out of our Rescue Program funds to help with the medical bills of a very brave foster mom who was attacked twice by the rescued Berner that was placed in her care.

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