In existence since 2007, Westie Rescue of Tennessee, Inc. (WRT) restructured and was incorporated in 2010. Many of its members have been involved in rescuing West Highland White Terriers (Westies) or other animals for 20 years or more. 501-c-3 non-profit status was granted in August, 2010. WRT's members, including officers, are all volunteers; no salaries are paid. Volunteers donate their own time, resources and unique skills to rescue, transport, rehabilitate, and ultimately place dogs in caring and responsible homes.
WRT accepts dogs from a variety of situations: puppy mills, shelters, owner relinquishment, abuse/neglect situations, strays, and occasionally, commercial auctions. All dogs are given immediate veterinary care and, health and age permitting, all are spayed and neutered prior to placement. Appropriate placement is WRT's priority; WRT has a broad network of foster care volunteers who take dogs into their homes and work to rehabilitate them and address their individual needs. Many of these dogs are not housetrained and are plagued by fears and problems associated with mistreatment or confinement for extended periods. Westies have a spirited and robust temperament and, as such, may not be suitable for every home or family. No dog is placed until ready, and each placement receives the utmost care.
|Before WRT||After WRT|
The organization seeks to raise money for its rescue efforts through individual donations, sales of promotional gear, fundraisers, and in-kind donations from corporations. In addition to rescue and placement, the organization seeks to raise awareness with regard to the mistreatment of animals in many commercial breeding situations, as well with respect to illnesses and congenital ailments most commonly occurring in Westies.
Since restructuring in March, 2010, WRT rehomed almost 70 dogs, in the first year alone. Beginning Year Two, 17 dogs were brought into the WRT system the first two months of 2011.
What is a Westie?
|Westies are still brave and tough...|
West Highland White Terriers (aka Westies) are cute little fluffy dogs, but their looks can be misleading. Westies are tough little hunting dogs. They were bred to hunt varmints and, originally, only those dogs that were brave enough to fight badgers were used as breeding stock.
Today's Westies are still brave and tough and they still like to hunt. They love to chase "prey" animals and they will dig to China to find a varmint.
Many people look at Westies as lap dogs or as good pets for small children but neither one of the assumptions are necessarily true. Westies are free-thinkers and may or may not want to be lap dogs. In fact, most Westies are not interested in being lap dogs until they are between 2 and 3 years old. They are high-energy in a small package and they like to be on the move exploring their world. They may also revert to their "prey instinct" when around small children and more than a few Westies have been released to rescue because they have terrorized a small child. Due to this paticular trait in a Westie, we will NOT adopt to a home with children younger than eight years old.
For people who appreciate a smart and independent dog, Westies can be a perfect pet. But, please don't pick a Westie if you are wanting a dog for a small child or if your lifestyle will not accommodate a high energy dog.