OUR PROGRAM:   We originated as a Rescue Branch of The West Highland White Terrier Club of Southeastern Michigan, Inc.   In 2012, The Rescue “branch” became a separate identity when we incorporated through the State of Michigan.  We still perform the rescue services on behalf of the Club but are a completely separate business.  We are in the process of receiving 501c3 status with the IRS.

We now foster every dog before placement. This is possible through the volunteer efforts of many foster homes.

This means that when we get a call, we take the information on the dog and start searching for a foster home for that dog. Living with the dog for a while, in a normal home situation allows us to get to know the dog and work on the dog’s issues (if any), at least to some extent, before placing the dog. When a dog is fostered, the adoption is “blind”. That is, we do not give the adopter details about the original owner and we do not give the original details about the adopter. The dog is adopted out of the foster home and Michigan Westie Rescue takes on the responsibility of doing a home check before placing the dog. Note: We seldom place a dog outside of the State of Michigan. 

COSTS: We request a donation of $25 with the application. This is not a fee and does not “buy” any special consideration. It is just a donation to help us with our work. When we find the right dog for you, we hope that you will consider another donation. Some dogs cause us minimal expenses, but some are very expensive. (Each year, we spent $20,000 on medical alone)! A donation from everyone helps with the costs of all and no dog loses out just because he has bigger medical problems than another dog. We also hope that you will consider sending in a donation once a year. Some people do this at Christmas; others on the anniversary of a loved dog’s birth, others on the anniversary of the day they got their rescue dog. We also support the rescue work through sales. See our “FUNDRAISERS”, CAFE PRESS FUNDRAISERS and “SHOP AND BENEFIT” sections.

Send this to:
Westie Rescue
12460 Pamela Court
Hartland, MI 48353

Rescue is incorporated in Michigan as a “charitable organization”.  We are in the process of obtaining 501c3 status with the IRS and expect this to be finalized very soon.  You will receive information for tax purposes whenever you make a donation to us.

WHERE DO THEY COME FROM? They come from everywhere!! Sometimes there is a death or illness of the owner; sometimes the family isn’t financially able to keep the dog; often the dog isn’t doing well with young children; sometimes they come from shelters; occasionally we get an abused dog; Look at our “Photo Album” to get an idea of what we see.


Of the dogs we get, about 2/3’s are Males. We get all ages BUT everyone wants the young dogs; PLEASE CONSIDER TAKING AN OLDER DOG (age 8 or more); they need homes too!! Our oldest adoption so far was a 13-year-old girl. Because so many Westies have allergies, we don’t consider these a major medical condition; we simply pass the information along. Most Westies in Rescue do not have any particular health issues. However, some come into rescue with more than minor medical problems such as diabetes, Addison’s disease, or other illnesses that may require ongoing medical care. Please consider these dogs too.


Children: We do not adopt to families whose kids are under the age of ten (or homes where children are anticipated during the lifespan of the dog or homes where young children are frequent visitors) because many Westies do not do well with young children. Note that we are not saying that the children do not do well with the dogs. Many Westies will not do well even with the most gentle and well-behaved children. Consider that Westies are bred to “go to ground” and kill small, scurrying animals. With many Westies, the activities of children simply turn on their natural instincts. And some rescues have had bad experiences with children or were simply not socialized with children when they were young.

Retirement Homes: There is a generosity of spirit in those who provide retirement homes for the old ones. We sometimes get requests to place an older, double-digit aged dog. This is always difficult. Especially since they are also often the ones who have the various problems that come along with old age. If you can provide a “retirement home” for an older dog, we would love to hear from you.

Fences: We prefer fenced yards or pens (a pen which is around 25’x25’ and 4 feet high, gives a Westie a lot of room to run.) If this cannot be provided, the adopting family must commit to keeping the Westie on leash at all times when outside, no exceptions. Westies will run when they see a squirrel or rabbit and most cannot be trained to obey boundaries 100% of the time. Ninety-nine percent is not good enough.

The “Ellen” clause DOES apply: If you adopt from us and can no longer care for that dog you will be legally obligated to return the dog to us. No SHELTER, No other RESCUE, No giveaway to a FRIEND or RELATIVE. NO SELLING THE DOG. If the dog isn’t right for you, we want it back. We encourage you to make plans for the dog’s care in the case of your illness or death and will honor your wishes BUT the new caregiver will be required to apply with us for the right to adopt the dog; we will screen the person just as we screened you. If they pass the screening, they will be given priority to adopt the dog. If they do not pass the screening, we will take the dog back and place with a family who does meet our requirements.

If you are interested in adopting a rescued Westie, please read the information behind each of the buttons on this page and then print the application, fill it out and send it in.

Contact Beth at 248-879-2479  if you have a Westie who needs assistance from Rescue.