POLICIES AND PROCEDURES
Please read through the following very carefully before contacting us, so you understand exactly what is involved with applying to Westie Rescue of Canada(WRC) to beconsidered as an adoptive/foster home, and/or if you are interested involunteering with us.
We are a national organization that consists solely of volunteers throughout Canada who devote their time to helping those Westies who for onereason or another find themselves in need of new homes. All Westies who join our rescue family are fostered in volunteers' homes until they go to their *forever* homes.
It is very important that you understand before contacting us that WRC is not a shelter or a referral agency. We are not brokers, so cannot ... will not ... provide you with a list of breeders orparties interested in buying and/or selling Westies. As we are a rescue organization, our policies mandate that we cannot beused as a "placement service" for anyone wishing to sell a Westie. Nor willwe buy a Westie from you to sell to a third-party. Depending on where you are located, Canada or the US, if you are looking for reputable breeders then go to the website for the Canadian West Highland White Terrier Club, the website for the West Highland White Terrier Club of Western Canada or the Westie Club of America's Team Westie Regional Resource Counselors. Many of the Westies that come into our rescue family are older and tend to have some health and/or behavioural issues. That's not to say that we do not get healthy Westies who need new homes, just that not all the Westies we have available for adoption at times are in *perfect* health, have wonderful temperaments, and under three or four years of age. It is rare that puppies come into rescue. If they do, it is usually because of health and/or behavioral problems. With some love, care, training and patience, most of these Westies, regardless of their age, turn out to be wonderful and loving companions
WRC takes in Westies who for one reason or another, are either currently, or soon will be homeless. We will take in Westies from shelters, humane societies, those abandoned at veterinary clinics, etc., Westies orphaned by the loss of their owner, and/or those whose owners find they can no longer look after them - regardless of whatever reasons led to that decision. Some of these reasons are truly heart-wrenching and involve a tremendous amount of love and bravery on the part of the owners to entrust us with finding new homes for their Westies. We are not here to judge the circumstances that may lead to Westies needing new homes, we are here simply to help.
All Westies who join our rescue family are at first:
· Examined by our own volunteers' veterinarians.
· Brought up-to-date on vaccinations, if healthy enough. If we do not
have a vaccination record, then we will do titre testing to see ifvaccinations are needed.
· Dewormed (if necessary)
· Any other diagnostic tests and/or treatments if deemed necessary by our vets.
· Teeth cleaning/extractions, if indicated
· Spayed/neutered, unless this cannot be done for medical reasons
· Assessed for temperament
During this time, the Westie(s) remain in foster care.
The Adoption Process
As we cannot enforce our adoption policies outside of the country, we regret that we are unable to process applications from residents outside of Canada. As such, while we welcome and are grateful for donations and support from Westie lovers in other countries, we ask that you contact the Westie rescue organization closest to you if you are interested in adopting and/or fostering a Westie. For permanent residents of Canada, in order to get on our waiting list of potential adoptive homes, our policies require that you complete our
adoption/foster application, which for your convenience is now provided as a download in both Word and Acrobat format, the link to which is provided further down. Our volunteer application is now online. Again, the link to that is provided further down. We do at times have a waiting list for people interested in adoption; however it is not on a *first come, first serve* basis. We match our Westies to the *best* possible home for them, and sometimes, the last person to apply with us to adopt, could very well be that *perfect, forever home.*
When/if a Westie becomes available, the person interested in adopting him or her is required to undergo an initial, minimum, three-month fostering period with the dog. At times, the fostering period can be extended for upto several months. The fostering period is to allow time for the potential new owner to identify problems that may require the dog being returned toour organization. It also allows time for the Westie to settle in with its new family. We recognize that as most of these rescues are an unknown quantity, (possible health and/or behavioral problems), not all situations are a good match for owner or dog. Therefore, the fostering period also provides the foster owner with the opportunity to return the dog to us without question ... or judgment.
During the fostering period, the WRC representative will be in regular contact with you and will want to visit you at least monthly. At the end of the foster term, if all parties are in agreement, the adoption will become final and the appropriate forms will be completed to that effect, along with the exchange of a required adoption donation. The amount of the donationis based on the age and health of the Westie, and this is determined by WRC. However, once the adoption is final, you won't get rid of us that easily :-)
We will remain in touch and will take back the Westie at any time during the remainder of its natural life, regardless of the reason, including if circumstances change in your lives, and you cannot look after it. In fact,the Westie MUST be returned to us if you are no longer in a position to look after it. It also goes without saying, that if we ever suspect any kind of neglect and/or abuse, we do have the legal right to reclaim the Westie, and will take whatever steps necessary to do so. Our priority at Westie Rescue of Canada is in placing a rescue into a secure, permanent, happy and loving environment. To that end, we have a detailed adoption/foster application. In addition, we require three references, plus one from your veterinarian. A home check is also required. At this time, for people interested solely in adoption, we do not verify your references or do a home check until such time that a Westie MAY be available for adoption. We will keep your application on file for one year. If any of your information changes during that time, please let us know. If you are lucky enough to obtain a companion from elsewhere, we would appreciate your letting us know so that we may take you off our waiting list. For volunteers interested in becoming approved foster homes with WRC, we will verify references and arrange to do a home check.
You may contact us at our Toll-free number: 1-877-861-3375. If there
If no one available to answer your phone call, please leave a message and a director for your area will return your call collect as soon as they possibly can. Please note, for adoption inquiries and genera information requests, due to the volume of inquiries we receive, it can sometimes take up to two weeks to return phone calls. However, for all calls regarding Westies in need of rescue, we do respond ASAP ... usually within a couple of hours, if not sooner.
Please be sure to include as much information as you can if you leave a message - your name, address, phone number and reason for contacting us. Please also do bear in mind that although the 'net’ contains some amazing technology, technical problems have been known to happen - as with voice mail, email and postal mail. Therefore, if you have contacted us either through the web, or by phone, and have not heard back within a few hours, if it is in regard to a Westie needing help, or up to two weeks if it is regarding adopting a Westie and/or for general enquiries about WRC, then please resend your request. Please allow a bit longer if contacting us by postal mail