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.
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 five and twelve 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. So, having an adoption application on file is advisable.
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. PLEASE consider not only the dog's age, but YOUR AGE as well when applying for a Westie. We do NOT want to rehome the dog again if you are at an age the dog will out live you.
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 heart worms. Older dogs are tested for liver and kidney functions, and any necessary dental work has been performed. All dogs are micro-chipped and registered to our organization.
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.
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 house trained, it would probably be better for them to look elsewhere because most of our dogs are NOT house trained. 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 of Missouri is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation. Donations are tax deductible. We have no paid staff or brick and mortar building. All monies received goes directly toward the operational costs and medical fees of our rescues in order to meet our corporate mission of preventing cruelty to animals.
We ask for an adoption donation in the following ranges -- whatever the applicant feels comfortable giving, again to help offset the operational cost of the organization - mainly vetting fees for ALL our dogs.
0-2 years $650-$750
2-9 years $450-$550
9-12 years $350-$450
12+ years $250-$400
Westie Rescue of Missouri does not adopt to homes with children under the age of 8 years old due to the terrier personality and legal liabilities. However, exceptions can be made with certain dogs and experience with the breed. Young dogs will not be placed in a home of seniors (over 65), as the likelihood of the dog outliving the adopter is too great of a chance of having to be rehomed once again. We apologize in advance and hope you understand our position.
We look forward to hearing from you!