Why would anyone
give up such a cute dog?
Aren't "Westies" and "Scotties"
the same dogs?
What other colors do Westies come in?
Do Westies get along with children?
Do Westies get along with cats?
What is Westie Rescue?
What is Westie Rescue USA?
How can I help Westie Rescue?
How can I apply to adopt a homeless Westie?
How long does it take to get a rescue dog?
Is there an adoption fee?
How much should I budget to take care of a Westie?
Q. Why would
anyone give up such a cute dog?
Those of us in Westie Rescue often hear this question. People give up
Westies because of:
- An owner's death or illness,
- Children leaving school to go home for the summer
- Families moving somewhere that does not allow dogs
- Household members allergies to dogs (possibly not the first pet they
acquired to test this situation)
- Job transfers to foreign countries with long quarantine periods.
However the most common reason is that the owner either does not or never
did have time for the dog. Therefore, the dog developed behavior problems
from the lack of attention or training. As a result, the Westie becomes
homeless and is, if it is lucky, given up to a breed rescue or shelter.
Q. Aren't "Westies"
and "Scotties" the same dogs?
The formal name of the Westie breed is the West Highland White Terrier.
Westies or Highland Terriers were developed in Scotland to hunt and eliminate
vermin that could destroy livestock or produce raised by the landowner.
They are not Scottish Terriers or "Scotties".
Q. What other colors do
Westies come in?
Scotties are not bred in a white variety. Scotties can be seen in a medium
cream color but never in true white. If the terrier is white, it is a
Westie. And Westies, as their name indicates, are only allowed to be white.
Q. Do Westies get along
Regardless of the breed, whether a dog gets along with children rests
primarily rests upon the parents of the children / owners of the dog.
Any obedience-trained dog will reside successfully in a home with children
prepared for the experience. Prepared children are guided by their parents
on how to humanely treat an animal and are supervised at all times by
an adult during their interaction with the dog.
Westies, in general, make good family pets. That said, it is good to note
that small dogs tend to be nervous around toddlers who run toward them,
pat them roughly on the head, or pull their fur, ears, or tail. Any dog
may lose patience with a child who will not let it alone when eating or
sleeping. Dogs, just as people, need to know that they have a place they
can go to rest or get away from the action where no one, including children,
will bother them.
Dogs also need to be trained that a small person is not its peer to
be bossed around. Terriers, in particular, will be in charge of the relationship,
if you are not. So the dog must be trained in a positive manner what the
rules of the home are. If a household provides such guidance for the children
and training for the dog, the dog will get along just fine with every
member of the family.
Our program does not place Westies in families with children under 6 years
old. It has been our experience in placing dogs that once most children
are of school age they are able to fully comprehend the reasons and cautions
for humanely caring for an animal. The squealing and giggling of a young
child can remind the Westie of its prey and lead him to make a mistake
like biting the child.
Q. Do Westies get along with cats?
We have received less than a handful of Westies in a year that are good
with cats. The small number of our initial placements that have not worked,
all have had conflicts with current cat residents.
Most of the Westies we receive are older and already have an established
history or reaction to cats. Rescue Westies who have not previously lived
successfully with a cat generally do not get along with a cat, particularly
because of their breeding as hunting dogs.
In some instances, we have also found that a dog who previously lived
with a cat offers no guarantee of a successful placement, since the Westie
may react positively only with its cat companion alone. Although we are
aware that many dogs and cats live happily together, because of the problems
we have experienced, our rescued Westies are not usually placed in homes
with cats in order to protect the safety and well being of the cat.
Q. What is Westie
Westie Rescue is a complex business because there are many steps in transferring
a dog from a bad situation to loving care that will last a lifetime. Westie
Rescue helps homeless Westies through:
- Pickup and Transportation
- Medical Care and Rehabilitation
- Temporary Fostering
- Placement and Adoption
- Public Awareness
- Participation in national rescue efforts
Q. What is Westie Rescue USA?
Westie Rescue USA is a web-based resource that is sponsored by Westie Rescue
of the MidAtlantic States, Inc., and is shared by Westie rescuers throughout
the US. Visit the website at www.WestieRescue.com
to find out how to contact your local volunteer information and to browse
a wealth of information about the care and maintenance of West Highland
Q. How can I help Westie Rescue?
Westie Rescue is an all-volunteer group that exists totally on donations
of people who love the breed and care about Westies in need. All of this
work is done by volunteers
and funded by donations.
Click on the link or send your donations to:
Westie Rescue USA
PO Box 342
Dunn Loring, VA 22027
Q. How can I apply
to adopt a homeless Westie?
Go to our "Westie Rescue
Adoption Form" and fill out the entire application. If you are
in the MidAtlantic Territory-which includes New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania,
Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and The District
of Columbia-you application will be processed directly by the sponsors
of this site. If you reside outside those States, your application will
be automatically transferred to your local Westie Rescue Organization
Q. How long does
it take to get a rescue dog?
After completing the application process, your application will be put
into a cue of waiting applicants. The more general your requirements are,
the sooner a match will turn up. If you require a one-to-three year old
female, a match will probably not occur for at least one year. If you
a requesting a Westie of either sex who is between 5 and 10 years old,
you may be contacted in as little as one month.
Q. Is there
an adoption fee?
Westie Rescue MidAtlantic does not ask for an adoption fee. It is customary
for adoptive parents to make a donation of between $200.00 and $400.00
to defray the costs of medical, transportation and fostering for the next
dog that comes through our system. Each region in the USA network has
its own rules and procedures. Check with your local representative to
learn procedures in your area.
Q. How much should
I budget to take care of a Westie?
Westies often have allergies to wheat and soy as well as to airborne allergens.
To keep them in optimal health, they require food that is sold in pet
supply stores but not in the grocery stores. They also frequently need
antihistamines to combat symptoms of hayfever and other allergic reactions.
To keep your Westie comfortable, you should count on having him or her
professionally groomed four to six times a year and on visiting a vet
twice a year to keep up immunizations. Count on a budget of $400.00-$700
per year to keep your Westie healthy and happy.