One of the most popular small breeds of dog in North American and Europe is the West Highland white terrier, or Westie. But there is no need to buy a Westie puppy when so many puppies and adults are available for adoption. Westies are surrendered to shelters often through no fault of their own. According to Westie Rescue USA, reasons for Westies being surrendered include the owner dying or becoming ill; owner losing a job and owner moving to a place that does not allow dogs.
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Contact your local animal shelter and tell them that you are looking to adopt a Westie. Keep contacting them weekly because they may be too busy to contact you. The shelter may also be able to give the contact information of a local Westie rescue group. In the meantime, research the dog adoption process for that particular shelter. Understand their requirements for potential adopters such as fees involved, providing references from your veterinarian and to allow inspections of your home from shelter workers.
Go online to your favourite search engine and type in "westie rescue" or "westie rescue" and your state or country's name. You may find a Westie rescue organisation in your own hometown. Click on the Westie rescue group website and download a dog application form. Read it before filling it out. E-mail or telephone the rescue group in case you have questions about the form, eligibility requirements and to find out if there is a waiting list.
Talk to your veterinarian and/or the vet's office staff. They may know of any Westies available for adoption or of any owner about to relinquish his or her dog or of any breeders looking for homes for retired breeding or show dogs. Ask if you could post a "Westie Wanted to Adopt" notice on the office billboard.
Tips and warnings
- Adoption fees can range up to £260, according to Westie Rescue, Inc. Fees not only help to cover costs of caring for a dog while it is in their care, but discourages people who may want to use the dogs for purposes such as medical research.
- All dogs that wind up in shelters or rescue groups are neutered or spayed in order to reduce unwanted pets. Shelters in the United States spay and neuter puppies as young as six weeks old that weigh at least two pounds.
- Never adopt a Westie if you are experiencing financial difficulties. Westie Rescue USA estimates that it costs £260 to £455 per year to take care of an adult Westie.
- Never adopt from a shelter or any other place that does not offer a contract.
- Never adopt from a shelter or rescue group that has a no return policy. This is not the action of a reputable dog rescue organisation, according to "West Highland White Terriers."
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