In past 26 years of helping homeless Westies get the care they need and the RIGHT home selected for life, I am always asked a few questions from potential adopters.
- Where do these dogs come from?
- How often do you get dogs?
- How many Westies do you have looking for new homes?
- How long will my wait be to get a Westie?
- Are many sick and need care?
- Can I come by your place and pick out my Westie?
- Why do I have to fill out that long application form?
- How much is your adoption fee?
- and on and on, 2-5 calls per day, plus multiple daily emails.
The Westie Rescue program.
Westie Rescue helps and places some 50-125 Westies per year here on the east coast. Across the USA, the volunteers who help Westies in their own area, State, or county, see another 200-600 Westies. Last year due to Covid-19 lock downs, humans were stuck at home so those who “didn’t have time for their dog” found themselves at home 95% of the time, so they did not give up dogs. In fact the volume of dogs looking for new homes fell 60%, while those looking for dogs rose 300%. A typical supply and demand imbalance. Shelters all over the USA report hordes of people seeking dogs, especially little guys and gals like Westies.
How many Westies do you have at any time period looking for new homes? We have gotten in as many as 24 in one month and as few as ZERO in three months over the years. Normally there are 5-15 Westies seeking homes all over the USA. Check in with your local Westie Rescue volunteers to see if there is someone for you: http://westierescue.com/find-a-local-westie-rescue/
Where do Westies come from who need a new home? In 2020 80% of the dogs given up came from seniors who lost their ability to be independent or died. The other 20% came from parents who had toddlers, as terriers and toddlers often have conflicts as adults are overwhelmed by the daily activities of these two conflicted parties. One was the “best buddy” that sees itself being replaced by the brat. The toddler see movement and moves towards it. Not a good mix.
90% of the dogs surrendered to Westie Rescue are happy, friendly healthy, dogs who just need a quick vet visit for a health evaluation, shots updating, a blood test to make sure there is nothing going on under the fur, spaying/neutering if undone, and then they are ready for the right home selection process. These Westies only stay with us for 3 days while all of this is going on, then they ready to be placed into a new home ASAP. The Westies who need special medical care due to poor attention or behavior modification (see lack of socialization and zero training from previous owners) stay with us for much longer periods while they get the care, attention, and training (de-stressing) necessary to start a new life.
How do you place dogs looking for homes? As dogs are ready for a new home, Westie Rescue sends out a Westie Rescue News Update email to those applications showing showing a potential match, a picture, their background, medical, social, behavioral training needs, what the Westie in question tells us what would be the best home for a smooth transition into a new and wonderful life. Adopters respond to those WR Updates and a down select is completed and a visit is scheduled. If all parties think it is a good match, the Westie in question goes for a trial stay to ensure all are happy with the arrangements. If all goes well an official adoption contract is signed, a donation is made to help the next group of Westies coming in, and follow up communications is established to ensure everyone is happy and enjoying a new family member!
Why do I have to fill out an application? Two reasons, one is to make people think about what is required to be able to care for a dog and the second is to see if you meet our program requirements as not every home is right for a terrier. The new homes are selected from our online application process which is designed to cue up homes that have the time and resources to give a Westie a second chance at a great new life. One where they will be a family member that is loved and cared for for life. Many applications will never receive a Westie from our program as there are always more people looking than dogs available. Adoption Application
How old are the Westies looking for new homes? Good question. Over the years we have gotten in Westies ranging from 5 weeks to 15 years. The majority of Westies in 2020 for example were 7 years or older.
How much is your adoption fee? Westie Rescue MidAtlantic Region for example, does not have a fee. We ask for a donation to our program to help the NEXT Westie coming in and to off set their medical bills, as the Westie you are adopting has already had their vet bill paid. The donation range that most donate is between $350 – $650. That amount covers approximately 60% of the average cost to treat a Westie to be ready for their new homes. The difference comes from people like you who donate funds so we can continue to operate.
How can I help Westie Rescue’s program of helping homeless Westies? Donate money to pay off the vet bills!
How bad does it get?
Later after a few months of baths, meds, and great food here is an example of a well loved Westie with her owner.
Westie Rescue’s goal is to find the right home for each and every Westie that comes into our program. Some Westies need a playmate, some just want a warm smile, a schedule with food and exercise, and love. As they come in without any muscle tone, no regular heath care or a kind pet on the head. Other Westies have special needs like medical treatments (baths, meds, and vet re-visits) who will need a human who can give them care, attention and a few cheese snacks to get those nasty pills down.
The images from their adopted home speaks volumes about how love and attention makes everything better……………..
More updates coming!