What is Westie Rescue
What is Westie Rescue?
1. Rescue is not a service for YOU.
Rescue is an adoption service for the WESTIES. We care about them. The Westie is who we are here to help. Helping you is just a byproduct of helping them.
2. Rescue is NOT a shelter that you can just stop by to visit and pick out a Westie to take home whenever the mood strikes you. There is no place to drop by and window shop, no business hours, and no times we are open.
Rescue is a small group of people who love the breed. Those people open their homes and lives to rescued Westies, give them a place to live, and love them until they find a loving permanent home. We take adoption applications, screen the applicants, and then have them come and visit with a specific Westie in our homes. There is no shelter involved. There is a volunteer's home on the end of any phone number you are given.
3. Rescue is not a “Dial A Westie” service that has the time to hear a long story about your troubles.
Rescue is a phone number that reaches right into the home of a volunteer who is trying to help 60-75 "Macs" and “Meghans” per year find new homes. We do not have time to listen to the predicament each owner has gotten themselves into and even less time to assist each one over and over as they decide between keeping the Westie and giving it up.
If you've taken the trouble to write an email or call, then you are one of the of the people who has their mind 99% set on getting rid of the Westie. Don't lie to us...or to yourself. Simply tell us the reason you are giving the Westie up, answer the questions we ask, and let your little guy go on to find the home where he or she and a new family will be really happy.
We’re going to help your Westie so please just speed the process along by giving us a reasonable description of why you are giving up the dog. Give us the truth. We need the truth so we know HOW to assist the Westie in finding the right home. We are not going to deny the dog help because of your reason for giving it up.
In fact, we've heard it all the reasons previously: allergies; no time; moving; too expensive; new baby; landlord doesn't allow; parents said no; owner sick or injured; owner died and nobody in the family wants; divorce; new job; new spouse doesn’t like; too many animals; current Westie doesn’t like new Westie; new Westie doesn't like current Westie; and the dog is cross-eyed, has ears that don't stand up, is sick or injured, isn’t housetrained, doesn't match the new couch or carpet, looks at me funny, is too hyper; barks too much, is a biter, chases cars, chases cats, sheds, is too much trouble, wants attention, is uncontrollable, told me he's not happy, and nips when the kids pull his tail or get into her crate while she is sleeping.
We're not cold hearted. There are just too few of us to do the many things that have to be done to find lots of dogs homes and spend lots of time on the phone or computer. We can either spend lots of time listening to you or spend the time helping dogs.
Rescue should be one of your last resorts.
You should try obedience training (try everything you can) before you make the decision to give up your Westie. When you've done all you can, call us and let us know why you're giving up the Westie in the least amount of words you can. We'll ask questions. You answer them. Quick, simple, and honest.
4. Rescue is not a person sitting at the computer or phone all day and just waiting for your email or call. We're also not running home daily hoping we'll have lots of email and answering machine messages. In addition, we're not rushing to return your call or email.
Rescue is a small group of people who already have lives, families, full-time jobs, their own Westies, foster Westies, 70 Westie-requests and 2 Westie-give-up emails a day average, and 20 Westie-requests and 1 Westie-give up phone message a day average. All of these things do not even count processing adoption applications, interviewing applicants, doing home visits prior to adoptions, and taking rescued dogs to vet appointments.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot ... Heaven help us, if we want to sleep, eat, or have a life beyond rescue.
5. Rescue is not a way for you to find a purebred Westie for little or no money.
Rescue is a safe haven for Westies of a specific breed with volunteers who know and understand the quirks of that breed and, therefore, have the knowledge needed to work with rescued animals from the breed.
We require an adoption donation when a Westie goes to its permanent home since rescue is a service that requires money for (this is just a short list) vet care; long distance telephone calls; a web site to receive adoption applications and explain rescue procedures; dog food, medications, leashes and collars; and lots of gasoline for picking up, transporting to vets, and delivering dogs to adoptive homes. The people who provide care for the Westies in their homes are volunteers. Most of these people are not able to fund rescue services totally out of their own pockets (although many times when funds are low, they have done so that no dog goes without what it needs) and still care for their families and own dogs.
6. Rescue is not a baby-sitting service, kennel, or training club for your Westie.
Rescue is a situation that Westies who are homeless, or about to become homeless, come into where they will receive the medical attention, physical attention, love, and behavioral attention they need.
We do not take in Westies for a while and then give them back to the original owner. If you want this kind of service take your dog to a kennel or vet for boarding. We can offer the names of boarding facilities to you.
Do not give up your dog unless you are certain that you cannot care for it any longer and want it to go to a new home. You will be required to sign a legal, binding contract with Westie Rescue to release your dog to us so that it can be placed with another home.
We do not retrain dogs then give them back to the original owners once the dog’s behavior has been modified. However, we can offer the names of qualified trainers and training clubs in your area that will work with you.
7. Rescue is not a place you can pick up a girlfriend for your “Mac” or boyfriend for your “Meghan” so that you can mass produce puppies and sell them to homes where they may be fighting dog training bait, toys for the children, something for the kids to take responsibility for (or more likely neglect), and later abandoned.
Rescue is responsible about the reproduction of their breed.
ALL rescue Westies are spayed and neutered before adoption so that no "accidents" happen. You won't get a Westie unaltered ... don't even bother to ask.
8. Rescue is not a place that will take the most vicious, aggressive Westies and keep them for the rest of their lives while the original owner who got them to that point lives happily ever after.
Rescue is a place where Westies who cannot be trained for someone to handle safely, or even be within 5 feet, are humanely put to sleep.
If you don't want to deal with your Westie whom you've loved for 6 years but never took the time to train resulting in a dog that bites to get what it wants, what on earth makes you think that someone else would want it biting them and their family?
We do work with EVERY Westie to see if they are just frightened or truly incorrigible biters. Those dogs who are scared we allow time to adjust. Then we work with them to instill trust in humans again.
Those who are reportedly nasty are given an opportunity to show their real behavior (sometimes dogs that are thought to be “biters” by people unfamiliar with terriers are not incorrigible biters...they can be trained to be good pets) and for behavior modification.
If they are truly incapable of being retrained to where they can be safely adopted, they are put to sleep humanely.
Some people think that we are horrible because of this policy. However, could you fill your house up with Westies you can't sneeze around without being bitten, have a family, live your life, and still save the lives of 60-75 other Westies a year?
9. Rescue is not a mail order service to find the Westie of your dreams. You know the dog we are talking about who loves kids, cats, everyone, doesn't bark too much, is perfectly housebroken, is under 15 pounds, is 8 weeks to 12 months old, does tricks on command, and knows how to act in every situation.
Rescue is the place that gets calls from shelters and owners who have a Westie in need. Sure, we may come across a Westie like the one described above, but it will be adopted quickly. Then it will be a long time before we see another one like it. We work with EACH Westie to make them better pets than they were when they entered rescue, but we aren't miracle workers.
Every Westie has his own personality. Most of the dogs we receive make great pets.
If you want a Westie that fits a few certain requirements, that's realistic. However, finding one that is perfection is not going to happen anytime soon. If one comes in that is “perfect,” we will have a line 5 miles long of people who already have submitted applications waiting for it.
10. We repeat one thing over and over: Westie Rescue exists to help the dogs. We love them. We will do almost anything to help one. We want to help the next one and the next one.
We need your help to do these things.
We need the help of the person giving up the dog to be honest with us. By doing so, they offer their pet the best chance of finding the new home that meets their needs.
We need volunteers who have experience with terriers to act as foster families.
We need adoption candidates who are willing to open their hearts and homes to homeless Westies.
We need help developing and implementing fund raising ideas to keep our services available to the next Westie who needs us.
We need people to spread the word about rescue services to the person who needs a home for their dog, the shelter who has a dog who hasn’t gotten adopted because it needs special care, to the vet or groomer who has a client who needs to give up their Westie, and to the person whose Westie has died and wants a new dog to love.
We always desparately need donations to keep our rescue work going as, whether it is today or tomorrow, there will be a dog whose last chance is Westie Rescue.