West Highland White Terrier Club of America

Westie Rescue Code of Conduct

Westie Rescue is a decentralized effort by volunteer rescue groups operating independently throughout the country. Groups of volunteers may be associated with the West Highland White Terrier Club of America (WHWTCA), a Regional Westie Club, or independent organizations created solely for rescue work.

Westie Rescue groups exist to facilitate the rescue of and find new homes for stray, abandoned, neglected, abused, and surrendered Westies. The policies and procedures they follow to accomplish this vary with the local environment and the resources available. Some groups are able to provide a range of services, including foster care. Others may have more limited resources and operate primarily through referrals and "home-to-home" placements. Many do both.

As active members of the national network of Westie Rescue, those rescue groups and individuals listed on this web site are guided by the following common code of conduct:

  1. We will operate as a charitable endeavor staffed by volunteers who will not profit personally from rescue and offer timely response to requests for assistance.
  2. We will always keep the best interests of the dogs in mind and serve as their advocate.
  3. We will ensure, to the best of our ability, that no otherwise adoptable Westie will be denied rescue because of age or treatable physical condition. If a Westie is ultimately deemed unadoptable for reasons of health or temperament, we will ensure that a veterinarian humanely euthanizes the Westie.
  4. We will be honest and forthcoming with the public and never knowingly misrepresent a rescue dog's age, medical condition, and/or temperament to anyone.
  5. We will screen and evaluate, to the best of our ability at that time, the temperament and health of each Westie placed into rescue, and we will never knowingly place a dangerous Westie.
  6. We will counsel potential adopters about the West Highland White Terrier breed including temperament, health, training and care issues promoting responsible pet ownership.
  7. We will refer anyone desiring breeder referral contact information to the WHWTCA Regional Resource Counselors and/or the Regional Westie Clubs.
  8. We will obtain a completed release of ownership form on rescue dogs that pass through our custody and ensure they will be spayed or neutered unless contraindicated by veterinary evaluation. If the contraindication is temporary, we will include a spay/neuter clause in the adoption agreement and enforce it to the best of our ability
  9. We will provide every fostered Westie appropriate food, water and shelter under sanitary conditions and provide veterinary care as we (rescue organization) deem appropriate.
  10. We will never place a rescued Westie as anything other than an indoor house pet.
  11. We will thoroughly interview potential adopters, receive a veterinary reference on current pets or previous pets prior to placement to the extent possible, and request that prospective adopters who rent or lease their residence provide landlord approval allowing the tenants to have pets.
  12. We will utilize written adoption contracts on each rescue dog placed by my group and never release the original registration papers in our control on any rescue dog.
  13. We will provide follow up advice and assistance to adopters and take back any rescue Westie placed by our rescue group at the request of the adopter.
  14. We will maintain a waiting list of interested adopters and require that adopters be at least 18 years of age.
  15. We will conduct ourselves in a courteous manner in rescue work such that our behavior brings credit to the image of Westie Rescue and animal rescue in general.
  16. We will never knowingly give or sell a Westie of any age to any pet shop, catalogue house, laboratory or any wholesale dealer in dogs or to any person who sells to any of the above nor to knowingly aid or abet the sale or purchase of any Westies through any of the above.