Some questions are asked repeatedly. We hope this list will help clarify things.

Why should I adopt a rescue Westie over a pet store dog?
Most rescued Westies were originally purchased at Pet Stores or from backyard breeders who got their breeding stock from pet stores. So it is natural to wonder why we encourage the adoption of rescue dogs over the purchase of pet store dogs. The answer is actually pretty simple. Most pet stores get their dogs from puppy mills. Puppy mills are explained in more detail using the puppy mill button to the left.. We discourage everyone from spending one penny that will go to encourage a puppymiller to produce another puppy. The Westies in Rescue are already here. They were purchased sometime in the past. Your adoption will not put a cent into the hands of a puppy mill. Please either adopt or, if you must have a puppy, buy from a responsible breeder. A good resource to find a responsible breed is the national breed club, in this case The West Highland White Terrier Club of America .

Do all Rescue dogs have behavior or medical problems?
Rescued Westies come from many situations. Many of the dogs we get into Rescue come from normal home situations. They are as healthy and well adjusted as any other dog who was raised in a good home. There are those who do have behavior or medical issues. Westie Rescue takes every dog into foster care so we can live with them a while and get them to the vet. We do this to identify any issues that might exist. We work with any issues we find and we reveal all identified issues (behavorial or health) to the potential adopters. It would make no sense to hide issues. You will discover them as soon as you get the dog and if it the dog comes back to us, what have we gained? We want you to be aware of all that we have identified because we want the dog to have a “forever” home.

How much does a Rescue Westie cost?
Well, they often cost Rescue a LOT to get them updated and ready to go. But we do not sell our rescues. We do not charge the typical adoption fee. We do ask for a donation of $25 with the application. This “weeds out” many who are not serious and helps pay the costs of all of the time and information we supply at the start. (We don’t refuse your application if you do not donate…it is entirely optional and, actually, it buys you nothing except the good feeling that you are helping out.) When you adopt, we hope you will make a donation or perhaps regular donations going forward. But again, we don’t base our placements on how much money you will donate.

What condition will the Westie be in?
Your adopted Westie will have been to the vet and will get a clean bill of health including up-to-date vaccinations, and usually a dental OR if there is something wrong that we cannot correct, you will be informed of this. If you choose not to adopt a dog with a health issue, it is perfectly acceptable for you to turn the dog down. Again, we want the Westie to find a “forever” home so hiding a health or behavior issue is of no benefit to us.

We will give you a dog with the following items completed:

  • Groomed
  • All Shots Will Be Up To Date
  • Fecal Check
  • Heartworm Tested/Heartworm Pill
  • Microchiped (we will register it for you)
  • Spayed or Neutered
  • Dental, if Needed
  • Blood Panel
  • Treatment begun or completed on existing issues
  • Any known medical issues identified for you before adoption
You will receive a packet that will include:
  • Medical Records
  • Details on dog’s time in foster care
  • Photos
  • Various other items and gifts

What support can I expect from the Rescue?
You will find it hard to get rid of us! We will follow up closely after the adoption. You will hear from us several time in the first few weeks and we will invite you to a Rescue Parade at our April show the year after the adoption. Then you will hear from us annually. We encourage you to contact us with issues you might run into. We will give you a card for a behaviorist who will also help you. If, for some reason, you cannot work it out with your adopted Westie, we will require that the dog be returned to us and not given away or taken to a shelter. We hope our relationship will be permanent! And we look forward to hearing from you and seeing photos over the years. Remember that one of us fostered your dog and we loved him. We want to know how he is doing.

How long can it take to get a dog?
This question is impossible to answer. We never know when a dog will be coming in and when they do, whether they will meet the criteria you put on your application. We stress that you keep the criteria as open as possible. You have a much better chance if you are willing to take either sex, any age and are open to medical issues. If you are limited, it will likely slow the process down. It helps a lot if you have a fenced yard and if someone is home at least part of the day. Please note: We do not place in the order we receive the application. We try to match the dog to the home. So it makes no difference how long our waiting list is. The newest application may get the dog if that happens to be the best home for that particular dog.

Do Westies do well with children?
We do NOT place rescued Westies with children under the age of ten (nor in homes who anticipate having a baby during the lifespan of the dog; nor in homes where young children visit frequently). Westies were bred to hunt and kill critters. They are not normally as laid back and complacent as a Golden. They are not likely to let children pull their hair and play roughly. If you must have a Westie with children under the age of ten, we suggest you do a lot of research, go to a good breeder and buy a puppy who you can raise and train yourself. See CHILDREN AND WESTIES for more information on this subject.

Can I specify the age and gender I want?
Yes, you can specifiy this on the application. Just keep in mind that the more narrow your criteria, the longer it is likely to take to find that special Westie for you.

Where do these Westies come from?
Rescued Westies come from many places. The majority come from homes. Sometimes people lose their jobs and houses and can’t keep the dog. Or they receive the dog as a gift and they really are not prepared to have a dog in their life. Or they buy the dog for their children and then find out that Westies aren’t always great with kids. Or they get ill or die and their families can’t keep the dog. We also get them shelters and puppy mills (usually via shelters). If you can think of a situation, we have probably seen it.

Why Can’t I adopt for Christmas?
We seldom place a dog in a new home after the middle of December and don’t resume until January.  This is just a tough time to transfer a dog from a place that is familiar to him into a new home with strangers.  Christmas tends to be a very busy time with lots of activities; often a tree in the house, lots of visitors, people and children who are excited.  Adults are rushed and have little time to devote to things such as house training and giving extra attention to a dog.  And we don’t ever want to give the impression that we would allow a dog to become a “Christmas Gift”.  So expect an adoption lull for the time just before and after the holidays.