Why we ask what we ask
PLEASE read this document before proceeding to the application!!!!
SNAIL MAIL THE APPLICATION
We ask that you mail in the application form even though you have email so that we can have your original signature on file with the information you have supplied.
NOTE: The $25 donation is just that…a donation. You gain nothing from it other than the good feeling that you are helping out a Westie in need. It gives you no guarantees. Being a donation, it is non-refundable.
DESIRED SEX OF WESTIE
You may only be interested in one sex; however if you show “either”, you will of course be considered for many more placements than if you limit it to one sex. (Note: About 75% of the dogs we get are male; most applicants want a female.)
Please answer this question with an actual age range and not a generic “young” or other undefined response.
DESIRED AGE RANGE OF WESTIE
The older the dog you are willing to take, the faster you are likely to get a dog; dogs 8 years and up are very hard to place even though Westies typically live into their mid-teens. If you limit your age range to only very young dogs, you will miss out on many wonderful dogs.
WILL YOU CONSIDER A DOG WITH MORE THAN MINOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS?
Many Westies will have allergies to some degree. We consider this minor. But some have significant allergies or a requirement for ongoing medication to control a medical condition such as Addison’s Disease. Like all dogs, many will develop problems as they age. These dogs still need homes and love. Answering “yes” to this question does not commit you. It simply means we will offer you these dogs. After we describe the issue, you are free to accept or not, with no negative impact.
REMEMBER: This is a rescue…the dogs in need aren’t usually the perfect two year olds!! Will you consider a dog with more than a minor medical condition? This reflects the real purpose of rescue-to help dogs who otherwise might not find a home. If you answer “yes”….BLESS YOU!
QUESTIONS AS LISTED ON THE CURRENT APPLICATION
1. PLEASE LET US KNOW WHY YOU WANT TO ADOPT A WESTIE?
This question helps us determine if you really want a Westie or if we might help you with contacts for other breeds. It is best for the dogs if the adopters really know that a Westie is the right dog for them.
2. DO YOU RENT, OWN: HOUSE ETC. IF RENTING, HAS YOUR LANDLORD GIVEN PERMISSION…?
This allows us to help you think about how you are going to house the dog. And, to make sure you get permission for the dog if necessary. A move is hard on a dog and it would create stress for both you and the dog if the dog had to be re-homed because your landlord doesn’t want the dog there. We want to be sure before we make the placement. (We will ask for proof that the landlord approves; we will do a home check.)
3 & 4. DO YOU HAVE A FENCED YARD/TYPE OF FENCE/PEN AND; IF NO FENCE, HOW WILL YOU EXERCISE THE DOG?
Westies do best if they have a fenced area to use outside. It protects the Westie and gives it some freedom. Other arrangements can work but must be thought out. Westies will chase a squirrel out of the yard even if the Westie has been well trained. Electric fences as a first “defense” are not a good idea either. Staked dogs must be watched because other animals and children can come in and bother a defenseless dog. Walks are good but the dog has to go out more than once a day.
PLEASE NOTE: We will not agree to an arrangement where the dog is allowed off leash outside a fenced area even though you are there with the dog; even though you live in the country on a lot of acreage; even though there are no busy roads near you, etc. The dog MUST BE IN A FENCED AREA OR ON LEASH AT ALL TIMES, PERIOD. Dogs on tie-outs must be watched; they are defenseless on a tie-out against anything that might attack them. You can read more about it at WESTIE EDUCATION INFORMATION ON FENCING.
5. WHERE WILL THIS WESTIE STAY DURING THE DAY; WHERE WILL THE DOG SLEEP AT NIGHT?
This is to insure the dog is treated as an indoor dog; and to flag potential problems (for example, a dog who has always slept in his owner’s bed might take quite an adjustment period if you intend to crate at night). We prefer that dogs be provided a crate and that it be used at least enough for the dog to be accepting of it throughout his life. This can be critical, especially if the dog later becomes ill and has to be hospitalized. Please keep in mind that there are many “doggie daycare” facilities. This offers a good option to those who work. DAYCARE INFORMATION. Some adopters hire a dog walker to come in at noon and spend some time with the dog.
6. HOW MANY ADULTS, CHILDREN; CHILDREN’S AGES; # PETS; KINDS OF PETS?
Some dogs need to go to an adult only home; some dogs deal well with children above a certain age (usually around age 10); some dogs need a home with no pets or without certain types of pets. This helps us eliminate homes that won’t be suitable for a certain dog. Note: We don’t adopt to families with children under the age of ten or to people who anticipate having children during the lifespan of the dog. We also restrict from households with freqeuently visiting children such as grandchildren.
7-9. IS ANYONE HOME DURING THE DAY? WHO WILL BE RESPONSIBLE? HOW MANY HOURS A DAY WILL THE DOG BE ALONE? (without human company)
There is a limit as to how long a dog can be left without relief. Some dogs are coming from a situation which makes them a poor candidate for long crating. Others are used to being crated all day. These answers help us match the dog to the right situation.
10. WILL THE DOG BE KEPT AS AN INDOOR PET?
No Westie will be placed as an outdoor dog. All Westies are indoor pets only. Of course they will go out to play but they live in the house as part of the family.
11. ALL WESTIES MUST BE SPAYED OR NEUTERED.
There are NO exceptions. Most dogs will be altered before placement. In the rare case (It hasn’t happened in several years) one is placed unaltered, you will be asked to provide a large deposit and show proof of altering within a reasonable period of time or the dog will be surrendered back to Rescue per a legal contract.
12. ARE YOU WILLING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR ITS ENTIRE LIFE… 10 YEARS OR MORE?:
We want to be sure you realize how long Westies live; we don’t want to get the dog back for re-homing because you didn’t expect it to be so long-lived. Many live to age 15 and some have lived into their 20’s. Your home should be this dog’s forever home. If you do not want to make this commitment, you should not consider adoption.
13. DO YOU KNOW WHAT IT COSTS TO CARE FOR THE WESTIE EACH YEAR?
Do some research and make sure you are ready to pay what it costs to give this dog a good life. Annual medical visits and inoculations are a must. And Westies commonly have allergies that need to be treated. Heartworm prevention alone usually runs around $120 a year, grooming is a must at least 4 times a year; plan on between $600 and $1000 if the dog is healthy.
14. IF YOU HAVE HAD A PET PUT DOWN, DIE YOUNG OR DUE TO AN ACCIDENT, GIVE DETAILS.
It happens…but we want to know that you are able to care for a dog adequately and that you don’t consider a dog to be “expendable”. Too many of the rescue dogs come to us because they became “inconvenient” for their families.
15. TWO REFERENCES ARE REQUIRED
We DO VET CHECKS!! We often do contact your personal reference(s). If you have pets currently or have recently lost a pet, PLEASE DO PROVIDE THE VET NAME AND TELEPHONE NUMBER ALONG WITH THE PET NAME(S), BREED AND DATE OF DEATH OF DECEASED PETS. Then provide one personal reference. If you have no pets and, therefore, no vet, please provide two personal references along with phone numbers.
16. WILL YOU COMMIT TO TAKING THIS DOG TO OBEDIENCE CLASSES?
Even if the dog doesn’t seem to need the training, it is the quickest way to establish a positive relationship with your dog; the dog will learn who is “boss” and will learn to respect your authority. For most dogs, we suggest and encourage formal training and for others, we may insist upon it.
17. DO YOU HAVE A SWIMMING POOL? IS IT SECURED AWAY FROM THE DOG? DO YOU HAVE OR WILL YOU BUY AN ALARM?
Westies have been known to fall into pools and not be able to find a way out. Can you imagine a Westie swimming until it is exhausted and then drowning? What an awful way to die. We don’t want this to happen to any Westie much less a “rescued” Westie. And we hear a story like this almost every summer.
18. ARE THERE ANY SMOKERS IN THE HOME?
If yes, please consider the effects of second-hand smoke on the dog and take steps to protect them (e.g., air cleaners, smoking only in areas not available to the dog, etc.) Also, please understand that this may limit the availability of some dogs.
19. WILL YOU PUT A WRITEN PLAN IN PLACE FOR THE CARE OF YOUR DOG(S) IN THE CASE YOU ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO CARE FOR THEM?
These dogs are your family. Just as you would make arrangements for the care of your children, you should want to make sure your dogs are cared for. The contract for the rescued Westie requires that you return it to Rescue should you no longer be able to care for it. But you may suggest your desired placement for that dog. We will ask the person to apply and check him/her out just as we do you. If they meet our requirements, they will be given priority for the placement. If not, we will take the dog back into Rescue and place it in an approved home. You will be asked to keep the Rescue contact information with your important papers such as your will along with instructions that we be contacted.
20. SOMETIMES WE GET TWO DOGS WHO HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TOGETHER. WOULD YOU EVER CONSIDER ADOPTING A PAIR INSTEAD OF JUST ONE?
This happens occasionally. Often it is two Westies, or a Westie/Scottie combination. Other combinations might occur. We would let you know just what the situation was. Your “yes” answer here does not commit you to anything but would cause us to look at your application ahead of others.
21. ARE ALL OF YOUR DOGS AND CATS NEUTERED AND SPAYED? IF NOT, PLEASE EXPLAIN.
Having your animals altered shows that you agree with a major philosophy of our rescue, that all pet cats and dogs should be altered to avoid any matings, accidental or otherwise, and the subsequent production of offspring. Breeding must be left to the experts and done only with animals who meet the highest standards for conformation, temperament and health. It also indicates your willingness to care for your pet’s health. And it eliminates many problems associated with behavior of the unaltered animals towards the rescue. We will not place a rescue in a home with an unaltered dog that is not being actively shown.
22. WHERE DID YOU LEARN ABOUT WESTIE RESCUE?
Every bit of information helps us understand you better. This leads to our ability to make a better match between you and the Westie we hope is waiting for you.
WESTIE RESCUE MICHIGAN APPLICATION
After reading the article (above) you may print the application and fill it out by hand or save it to your hard drive and fill it out in Word. Please send it in US Mail once it is completed and signed. Remember that the potential adopter must be the person who signs the application unless the signer has Power of Attorney.