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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.

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 accept only a very young Westie, we are probably not a good option for you. After we receive your email or phone message one our volunteers will call you, usually within 7 to 10 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 an Application to Adopt will be emailed/mailed to you within 2 days.


2. Complete the Application

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


3. Reference Checks and Home Visit

Once the completed Application is received and accepted you are placed on a potential adopters list.  If a match is made between you and a Westie another volunteer will personally contact your references. Once that has been satisfactorily completed a home visit will be scheduled. A home visit, by another Westie Rescue Network volunteer, allows us to get to know you and the other members/pets of your household so we can ensure that the dog selected is a good match for you. It also allows us to decide if 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 a former adopter has gone through our adoption process they must repeat the process again.


4. How is a Dog Placed with an Adopter?

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 and been accessed by their foster home humans.  In addition our Adoption Coordinator will have conversations with all other volunteers that have had interaction with the dog and the potential adopters.  The more information we receive from the applicants the better we understand your environment and the more comfortable we are with each home situation.


5.  What Do We Strongly Consider?

  • Potential adopters willing to take an older and/or special needs dog (usually a medical issue) will receive more consideration.
  • Individuals who have fostered multiple dogs for Westie Rescue and have a demonstrated history of volunteering for Westie Rescue will receive more consideraton. 
  • Potential adopters that have yards that are securely fenced, 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 2 or more Westies will usually receive less consideration as we try to place our dogs with former Westie Rescue adopters 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 2 -3 weeks and should not be rushed.
  • We know a lot of families who adopt our dogs have jobs and otherwise busy schedules which require that the dog might be kenneled for several hours a day.  We expect all adopters to be willing and able to walk/exercise the dog daily or have daily access to others who will assist them.  Healthy Westies love to walk and explore.
  • All potential adopters must go through and pass our entire adoption process before they are eligible to be considered for a dog.


5. Wait for a Match

Please be patient as we do have a 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 open you are to the age and sex of a Westie the easier it will be to find a good match.


6. 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 their observations while the dog has been in their home.

If you decide to meet the dog we ask that you travel to the foster home along with your resident dog(s) for the meet and greet. It is best for you to meet the "new" dog in an environment in which 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.


6. Adoption

The average dog is a nicer person than the average person.

Andy Rooney

If the meet and greet goes well with your family, we ask that you 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 a major change in the dog's routine as soon as you have the dog home.  Break the dog in gradually to his new home/environment.  We cannot encourage you enough to follow our advice to ensure that your new dog is transitioned to your home with as little stress as possible.


7. Post Adoption

No adoption is ever final and if for some reason the placement is not successful we ask that you return the dog to us. We would like to know all the details of why the dog is not working out for you.

Please contact us if you would like to inquire about, or 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