The West Highland White Terrier Club of Indiana provides Westie Rescue assistance to a large region of the central Midwest, including southern Ohio, all of Indiana and the northern and western sections of Kentucky. Sue Durcan and Carol Sanger are the Westie Rescue representatives for this region, and both are located in Cincinnati, with a network of dedicated volunteers in all three states to assist in fostering, transport and rescue.
Our mission is to unite Westies who need new homes with people who want to provide a loving “forever” home for one or more of these little white dogs with the big attitude!
Westies come into Westie Rescue through a variety of channels. Some are surrendered by owners who can no longer keep them for reasons ranging from behavior/health issues to simply no longer wanting the dog. We also get them as strays from shelters or from breeders who "dump" them when they’re no longer able to be productive. And some come to us in cases where the Westie's owner may have been hospitalized or passed away, leaving the Westie in dire need of a new home.
Many of the dogs we get are older (4-6 year old and up) and a majority are male. We seldom get puppies, although there have been a handful in the last couple of years, usually surrendered because of housebreaking issues or not working out with young kids. Note: Because Westies are typical terriers, and terriers as a rule are not overly tolerant of the antics of young children, we do not recommend Westies for families with children under the age of 7 years old.
A dog that comes into Westie Rescue is immediately vet checked, spayed/neutered if necessary, and fostered until he/she can be assessed and then placed. (In the case of a non-emergency owner surrender, we try to keep the Westies in their original homes until we can find a new home for them because it is less disruptive and stressful for the dog that way. So in those cases, we may choose to refer potential adoptive parents directly to the Westie's original owner.)
Westie Rescue accepts applications from people wanting to adopt a rescue, and keeps these applications on file. When we have a dog to place, all of the applications in our files are reviewed, references are checked and an assessment is made of the suitability of a particular Westie to a particular situation. A Westie that does not do well with other dogs or cats, for instance, would not be considered for a home where there are other pets. Once potential adoptive families are identified, they are then contacted by phone or email to let them know of the dog and to ascertain their interest.
There are no fees for adopting, and Westie Rescue does not pay for the dogs that come to us. We do, however, ask for an applicant donation of $250 at the time of an adoption, although exceptions are made based on the health, age and ongoing needs of the dog.
There obviously is no way to predict how long a wait there may be for a rescue. It could be days, weeks or several months. But the good/bad news is that eventually, there will always be another homeless Westie in need of a loving new home.