Thank you for your interest in a rescued Westie! Westies make fabulous pets. Due to the over abundance of emails we are trying to answer, please be patient when waiting for a response from WRM.
WRM usually places three or four Westies a month, so we are always on the lookout for good homes.
Because Missouri is such a large breeding state, most of our dogs are breeder-releases. However, we do occasionally get an owner release. Most of the dogs that we get are between three and five years old. We rarely get puppies.
As you probably know, Westies were developed as hunting dogs. And, most Westies still maintain this breed characteristic. We do not recommend Westies for homes with small children, because of the Westies natural instinct to chase and bite anything that runs. Also, because Westies have an instinct to hunt, a good containment plan is a must. A fenced yard is always a good idea. And, because Westies are "earth" dogs, they can tunnel out of fences unless extra care is taken to insure that this doesn't happen.
Westies are also an intelligent and hard-headed breed, and -- if given a preference -- would prefer to do as they pleased, rather than as their owners pleased. It can be an annoying trait, but it is also one of the things that make Westies such a wonderful breed.
Westies tend to mature late. It usually takes a Westie two to three years to get beyond the puppy stage and to develop into a lap dog. Even then, there are some Westies that prefer to be in constant motion.
We normally place from adoption applications. We seldom advertise any of our dogs on Pet Finder or Critter Connection. So, having an adoption application on file is advisable. We have placed our adoption application on our website at Missouri Adoption Application. Having the application on our website helps us keep copying and postage charges to a minimum. Please print off the application, fill it out and send it to us.
We screen each application when it comes in and we file it according to the type of dog that the applicant is seeking -- puppy, young female, young male, etc. Then when we receive in a dog, we can easily access the individuals who are looking for that particular characteristic.
Our dogs are fully "vetted" before they are placed. They are up-to-date on their vaccinations, they are spayed or neutered, they are tested for heartworms and for liver and kidney functions, and any necessary dental work has been performed.
Our policy is to try and place on a first-come, first-serve, basis to qualified homes, but our primary emphasis is the needs of the dog. We try to assess a dog's personality and then try to find a home that looks like a good fit. Once we get in a dog that looks like it would fit well into an applicant's home, we contact the applicant and begin a discussion about the dog. We only work with one applicant at a time on a dog. Only when the first likely applicant does not work out, do we move to the next applicant. We do not engage in "dueling applicants".
Since many of our dogs are breeder-releases, they do not come to us with manners or house training. Some of them also have special medical needs. Fortunately, Westies are extremely resilient and, even the puppy mill dogs, turn into wonderful loving pets.
We try to make a point of warning all applicants that, if they need a dog who is housetrained, it would probably be better for them to look elsewhere because most of our dogs are not housetrained. However, Westies are extremely smart dogs and even the very old dogs that we have gotten in have done very well with house training.
Westie Rescue is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. We are also a state approved animal shelter. Donations are fully tax deductible. We have no paid staff. All monies received go directly into the medical fund or are otherwise used to meet our corporate mission of preventing cruelty to animals.
We ask for an adoption donation of $350 to $450 -- whatever the applicant feels comfortable giving -- for each dog that is placed. The amount of the adoption donation is NOT based on the costs that we have spent on each dog. In most cases, our costs meet or exceed the adoption donations. Westie Rescue of Missouri can not adopt to homes with children under the age of 8 years old due to the terrier personality and legal liabilities. We apologize in advance and hope you understand our position.
We look forward to hearing from you!