All would-be adopters are home checked by registered volunteers to establish their general suitability for ownership of one of our rescue westies after being potentially matched to an appropriate dog, and we sometimes ask for a vet reference too. We do not have a centre of dogs needing homes for adopters to choose from. Our priority is to focus on the needs of the dogs, which may not coincide with the wishes of the humans who would like a Westie.
Our aim is to ensure that dogs are placed in permanent homes to avoid future trauma and disruption. Some of the dogs coming into our care have experienced neglect and often require extreme patience and special care to regain their trust in humans. Please consider carefully whether you could care for such a dog. Our assessment of the dog will take into account its needs, and what sort of home, lifestyle and environment would best suit them. Please keep an open mind as to the kind of westie that you would like to adopt, eg its sex, age, temperament
The new carers will be required to make an undertaking, that should they become unable to care for the Westie at any stage, we must be informed as soon as possible and allowed to make the final decision concerning the dog’s future.
As a registered charity we ask for an adoption donation which helps us to continue our care for all the westies that come to us. We also see it as a reflection that you value the dog that you are fortunate to adopt.
Although we frequently use the term ‘rescue’ when referring to our organisation there is a good reason why, after much deliberation, it was not included in our title. There is a popular misconception that most of the dogs that come into our care are neglected, unloved, unwanted or abused in some way, and we would like to dispel that myth here and now.
Most of the dogs that come to us do so because their owners realise that they can no longer give them the quality of life that they deserve. This involves tremendous sacrifice and heartache on the owner’s part and one can only feel respect and admiration that they choose to put the dog’s needs before their own. Having entrusted their dog to our care we are honour bound to do the very best for their dog.
The Adoption Process
We recommend that you read “The Rescue Dog” by Gwen Bailey to help you to understand a little more of what you may be taking on and the level of commitment that will be involved before making a decision.
Please pay a visit to her web site at http://www.dogbehaviour.com to find out how to purchase her books.
- Fill in and send off an Application to Adopt Form. See below for how to do this. Please be patient. We regret that we do not have the time or resources to acknowledge every application immediately. Occasionally we may need to ring you to clarify some of your answers/comments on the form.
- Our volunteer will contact you directly to arrange a mutually suitable time for a home visit once we have found a suitable westie. Some applications we receive show an unrealistic expectation of what to expect from a rehomed dog. If any potential problems should arise during the home visit, we will work with you to resolve any obstacles to your becoming an Adopter.
- We will inform you as soon as a suitable dog becomes available. Please let us know immediately if you have decided not to proceed with an adoption from us, or if you obtain a dog from another source. We will need to remove you from our list straight away, so that a dog is not assigned to your name.
- We will arrange a suitable date and time for you to collect the dog. If certain improvements have become necessary to ensure the safety and security of the westie in your home, and a return visit has not been arranged and carried out, we will need to check that those improvements have been addressed before we can release the dog into your care.
- When we hand the dog over you will be required to fill out an Adoption Contract & Declaration, which is a legally-binding document setting out what we require to guarantee the dog’s future health, security and happiness with you. We will ask you to sign this in the presence of our representative, who will make sure you understand every point of the Declaration.
We expect all adopters to be fully committed to the dog and to work through any issues that may arise, including seeking professional help from registered dog behaviourists/trainers if required. We encourage you to contact us for advice if you encounter a problem with your westie and do NOT endorse any physical abuse, harsh training methods, shock collars etc.
AN APPLICATION FORM – THE FIRST STEP TO ADOPTING A WESTIE.
Please contact us for an adoption form and we will email one to you. We no longer have an online application form facility as this can be a little impersonal, without the opportunity to expand on your answers if necessary.
We occasionally find that someone objects when asked to complete an application form, expecting to come along and choose the dog that appeals to them with no questions asked. This doesn’t happen with us. The following will hopefully explain why we ask so many questions.