If you are not very familiar with the breed, and your interest stems from seeing one on TV or in a print ad, we would highly advise you to do some reading and studying up on the breed prior to contacting us. Please feel free to start with the About Westies section of our site. Definitely take the test to ensure a Westie would be a good fit in your family's lifestyle. This is a tenacious and challenging, but rewarding breed of dog that we recognize isn't right for everyone.
If you are ready to continue, you may have certain desires about the dog you wish to adopt, but each Westie also has special needs which are determined through an initial health, background, and temperament evaluation. Our goal is to make the best match possible. Consequently, we ask you to be as thorough as possible in completing our adoption application. Please also be aware that only under very specialized circumstances will we place rescued Westies in homes with resident cats, other small pets, or children under the age of eight. You may read more about why here.
We require that any person relinquishing a Westie to sign a release form to protect the person who ultimately adopts the dog. We also require that a binding agreement covering care of the Westie be signed by the person who adopts. The Adoption Agreement stipulates that in the event that you should not be able to continue to provide the dog a home, the Westie must be returned to the WHWTCSET Rescue. We also require that each rescue be spayed or neutered and typically alter our rescues prior to placement.
Please follow up with us if you submit an inquiry, become no longer interested in Rescue, or if your information changes. We do not keep inquiries on file for more than 6 months unless you make contact again with us and request that we keep and/or update your information. Your patience is appreciated.
Adoption Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Please take the time to read the FAQ in its entirety. Due to high volume, inquiries which are already answered below will not receive a response.
Where are you located? Can I visit and see the Westies you have available? The WHWTCSET Rescue is not a shelter in the traditional sense, we are just a few individual WHWTCSET club volunteers who retrieve Westies in need. Most of us have full time careers and perform this service in our off time because of our love for the breed. We transport dogs for Vet care, and then board them with our Vet, or foster them in our homes until placement. We only place with applicants we have on file who match preferences and environment; however if we have any available rescues that we are unable to match with current applicants we do post pictures on Petfinder.
I am only interested in a puppy, should I apply? Our Rescue generally does not receive puppies, and we do not accept applicants who are only interested in puppies. If you are only interested in a puppy, please visit the Breeder Referral Section of our site.
How long will it take to process my application? If you have submitted correctly, your application should ready for access to match with any available Rescue within 1-2 days.
Why do you need so much information from me? There is a purpose behind every question we ask. We have experienced quite a bit in our time with rescued Westies and need to be sure that each applicant understands what they're getting themselves into, and whether a home will be a good match for a particular Westie. We highly recommend you read this article about rescue applications.
Is there a List? How long do I have to wait for a Westie? There is no ordered list, and there is honestly no means by which to answer any question regarding wait times. Need and intake are random events. Because we are a very small Rescue, we may not have any Rescues to place for 2 or 3 months at a time, then sometimes we may get several in a short period. When we have a dog needing a home match the preferences of a qualified applicant, we make contact with that applicant. Most Westies in Rescue are leaving the home they've always known and are understandably scared and traumatized, sometimes even physically, so while we receive great satisfaction in the happiness we bring by placing Westies into new homes, our goal is to consider the needs of the dog first and foremost.
How much does it cost to adopt a Westie? We do not charge to adopt, but do request a donation to our Rescue to offset at least a portion of our Veterinary costs. Fortunately, our Rescue Veterinarian is a WHWTCSET member, so we receive services at a very reduced rate. Our Rescue is supported exclusively by private and WHWTCSET member donations. All of our Rescue volunteers donate their time, travel, resources, and homes to provide care to try and keep costs associated to a bare minimum. In the vast majority of our adoptions, $150 is far less than we spend to spay or neuter, or rehabilitate and return a Rescue to health. Of course, any amount you wish to donate over the minimum request is very much appreciated.
I don't live in the Houston area; may I still apply through the WHWTCSET? It depends on where you are located, but we typically only adopt dogs to individuals in the Greater Houston Area. Because we must visit your permanent residence at least once, and may need travel to you on more than one occasion, if we are unable to visit you within an hour or so, then we are glad to refer you to a rescue which may be closer to you.
What is the process? Our adoption process involves the following steps: 1. The person who will adopting the dog completes and submits the adoption application; 2. WHWTCSET Rescue receives and reviews, and verifies the application; 3. When a Westie that meets an applicant's adoption profile is received by Rescue, we call to confirm interest, and set up a time to visit and determine whether your household and lifestyle is a suitable match for the dog; 4. Interested and matched candidates individually meet the rescued Westie; 5. Once determine which home is the right fit, the dog comes for a trial visit; 6. Pending a successful trial visit and approval of all paperwork, final adoption papers are signed; and 7. The Westie becomes part of your family.
Upon application submission, or if your application is not a successful match, then your application will remain in our files for a maximum of 6 months from the date of submission. If you are interested in being part of our program beyond the 6 month period, it is your responsibility to contact us and provide any applicable updates.
I submitted an application and have not received any response. We attempt to respond to verify receipt of each application; however if you submitted an application and you have not received any response beyond that initial verification, then it is most likely because we do not have a dog that is a match for the specifications you submitted in your application.
What if I adopt a Westie and decide I have made a mistake? One approach we take which is different from a lot of Rescues is that we do not insist that you adopt the dog right away. After an initial meeting, if you are the home selected, we encourage you to keep him or her for a week or so for a trial period in hopes of providing you with the opportunity to determine whether adoption is right for you. In the event you do adopt, and later determine you can for whatever reason no longer keep your Westie, you must let us know. The Adoption Agreement you sign with us contractually obligates you to return him or her to our Rescue. We want you to love your Westie as much as he or she is going to love you, so if the situation is not successful, we need to know.
Will I need to take my adopted Westie to the Vet? Eventually, yes, but initially no. Prior to placement, all of the Westies taken into our rescue are examined by our Rescue Veterinarian and brought current on shots as well as heartworm test/prevention. The Westie will be spayed or neutered, and any known or existing medical issues will be managed and disclosed to the adopting family. We will provide to you all of the medical records we have on the dog so that you aware of any issues. We suggest after you adopt a Westie from us you take him or her to your vet for a check-up and visit, but vaccinations or related treatments will not be needed.
Where can I find a good Westie Vet? We highly recommend our Rescue Vet, Dr. Kay McGuire at Suburbia North Animal Hospital; she is a WHWTCSET member, highly involved in the Westie health community, and we think she's the absolute best! We also recognize that she might not be located convenient to your home. If you do not have a regular Veterinarian, let us know and we'll access the collective knowledge of our WHWTCSET members to find a great Vet in your area. Many Veterinarians are familiar with Westies and the ailments that are common to them, but you should also find Vet with whom you are comfortable. No matter which Veterinarian you choose, it's imperative that you treat your Westie's health with the same seriousness you have for your own .
Will this dog be 100% housebroken? No, many Westies we receive in Rescue will require house training. Further, just because a dog comes to us generally housebroken here doesn't mean you will not have a problem in your home, at least initially. All dogs need to be supervised when they enter your home. Your dog will need to be taught which door is the correct one for requesting access to the outdoors for relief, or if you have a dog door and he or she has never used one, you will have to train the dog to use the dog door. We also recommend with a male to put a belly band or diaper on him for the first day, to prevent him from marking his new territory. That way any marking behaviors are in something that can be disposed of, as opposed to on your walls and furniture. You may also correct him when you see him raise his leg.
Support The WHWTCSET Rescue provides emotional and practical support tools to help support adoptive families care for their new Westie. Normally a self-confident, cheerful little dog, abused and neglected Westies often have some special needs. We will assist you in any way we can, whether it is for referrals to appropriate health-care providers, trainers or just support and advice. We want our adoptive families and their new Westies to be happy and successful.
We place our Rescue Westies in good homes and have been fortunate to meet wonderful people who are eager to love and care for an abused or neglected Westie. It is important to note that some of the Westies that come through our program have already been through a lot of trauma. It takes a special kind of family to accept and understand the challenges their Westie has faced in his or her short life. We try to take great care to ensure that all prospective families are aware of the difficulties they may face, and we support them in providing a successful home for their new Westie.
We also encourage families to become involved with the WHWTCSET. You will not find a more committed and knowledgeable group of Westie owners!