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1. Tell Us Why You Want to Adopt

The first step is to let us know that you are interested in adopting a Westie by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page and completing an Inquiry form.  We do NOT accept telephone message requests to adopt.

Please note that we only adopt to non-smoking households. You should also be aware that we seldom receive dogs under age 3, so if you will only accept a very young Westie, WRN is probably not a good option for you. After we receive your email Inquiry one of our volunteers will call you, usually within 7 to 14 days of your initial inquiry to ask you more detailed questions.  This important "telephone interview" can usually be completed in less than 30 minutes.  If the phone interview is positive for both you and our volunteer, we will email or mail you an Application to Adopt within 2 to 5 days.  We do not have Adoption Applications on our website.


2. Complete the Application

The Application must be completed by the individual who will be adopting the dog and who will be legally and financially responsible for it. Please be sure to complete all sections of the Application including references and their contact information. You can return your completed Application via email (scan and send) or via USPS to our P.O. Box address, both are shown at the bottom of the last page of the Adoption Application form.


3. Reference Checks and Home Visit

Once the completed Application is received and accepted your name is put on a Potential Adopters list.  If you are  matched with one of our Westies a volunteer will personally contact your references. After that has been satisfactorily completed a home visit by another WRN volunteer will be scheduled. The home visit allows us to get to know you and the other members/pets of your household so we can ensure that the dog we selected is a good match for you. It also allows us to decide whether we feel you are a good candidate for adoption and that your property is a safe environment for one of our dogs. NOTE: if more than 5 years have passed since you went through our adoption process you must repeat the process if you wish to adopt again.


4.  Placing Dogs with Adopters

We do NOT adopt dogs based on the order in which applications are received.  Instead we MATCH each dog that comes into our system based on their behavior after they have spent time with and been assessed by their foster home humans.  In addition our Adoption Coordinator will consult with all of the volunteers who have interacted with the dog and the potential adopter(s).  The more information we receive from an applicant the better we understand your environment and the more comfortable we are with the home situation.


5.  Priority Consideratons

  • Potential adopters willing to take an older and/or special needs dog (usually a medical issue) will receive more consideration.
  • Individuals who have fostered more than one dog for Westie Rescue and who have a demonstrated history of volunteering for us will receive more consideraton. 
  • Potential adopters with yards that are securely fenced, and/or access to walking trails and a safe area to go in/out and away from predators (e.g. coyotes) will receive more consideration.
  • Potential adopters who already own two or more Westies will usually receive little to no consideration as we try to place our dogs with experienced Westie Rescue volunteers and families with no dogs who are familiar with the breed.
  • We expect adopters to devote a reasonable amount of time every day to focus on transitioning the dog from the routines established in the foster home to those of their forever home. This transition can easily take 4 to 6 weeks and should not be rushed.
  • We understand that many individuals and families who adopt our dogs have jobs and otherwise busy schedules that might require the dog to be kenneled for several hours a day.  We expect all adopters to be willing and able to walk/exercise the dog daily or have access to others who will assist them.  Healthy Westies love to walk and explore.
  • All potential adopters must satisfactorily complete our entire adoption process before they are eligible to be considered for a dog.


6. Waiting for a Match

Please be patient after you apply as we do have a long waiting list of applicants. Our goal is to find a dog that is a good match for you and your family and that can take time. The more flexible you are about your Westie's age and sex the easier it will be to find you a good match.


7. Meet and Greet

Our Adoption Coordinator will call you when we have a Westie that we think will be a good match. If you are interested we will then put you in contact with that dog's foster parent(s). The foster parent can give you more details about the Westie and share their observations during the dog's stay with them.

If you decide to meet the Westie we ask that you travel to the foster home along with any resident dog(s) for the meet and greet. It is best for you to meet the Westie in an environment where they feel comfortable. This will also give you a better feel for the dog's personality and the routine that the foster home has established for the dog.  


8. Adoption

A dog has one aim in life... to bestow his heart.

J. R. Ackerley

If the Foster parent believes the meet and greet with your family goes well, you will be asked to complete the adoption paperwork, give a check for the adoption fee to the dog's Foster parent and take the dog home with you. The foster parent will provide you with a very important report, "Foster Report to New Adopter".   This report will provide details of the dog's daily routine in the foster home.  We have been rescuing Westies for many years and must insist that you do not make major changes in the dog's routine for the first 7 to 10 days.  Break the dog in gradually to his new home/environment.  We cannot encourage you too strongly to follow our advice in this matter to ensure that your new dog makes the transition to your home with as little stress as possible.


9. Post Adoption

No adoption is ever final and if for some reason the placement is not successful you are legally required per our Adoption Agreement to return the dog to us. In addition we would like to know all the details you can give us about why the dog did not work out for you.

Please contact us for more information about, or to start the adoption process. We adopt primarily to families who reside in Colorado and occasionally into New Mexico and Wyoming.


Next: The Dogs We Adopt