Now known as the Sunshine State Westie Rescue, Westie Rescue Florida is a not-for-profit charity based in Florida and dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of West Highland Terriers.
The type of animal eager to please and easy to love, even if you’re not their first home, the joy of having a Westie is unlike any other.
West Highland Terriers or Westies were originally bred in the 1800s in the Highlands of Scotland to assist with hunting foxes and vermins.
As such, they have an incredibly strong prey drive and love to chase smaller animals.
Often getting into “the zone” when chasing calls to your Westie to stop harassing squirrels, cats, or other creatures can fall onto deaf ears, so training needs to be put into place as early as possible to keep your Westie under control.
That said, Westies are eager to please, if a bit stubborn, so training a Westie pup shouldn’t put up too much of a challenge.
Good training and plenty of exercises are vital to maintaining a happy and healthy pup.
Westie Rescue Florida Center: Adoption Basics
Although there’s no hard and fast rule excluding any animal from unfortunately ending up looking for their forever home, Westie Rescue Florida has many Westies that have been given away due to their high prey drive.
That means they frighten any other pets, usually cats.
As stubborn animals, you might also find they don’t play well with small children.
This is usually due to rough handlings such as ear-grabbing, tail pulling, and the accidental foot-stepping-on.
West Highland Terriers have strong personalities and don’t always take well to being roughed about.
For these reasons, Sunshine State Westie Rescue will not place pups in homes with children under the age of seven or with resident cats.
Why Else Might a Westie Need Rescuing?
Sadly, no dog or animal is immune from needing rescuing. Sunshine State Westie Rescue also takes in pups that have been abandoned or lost, rescued from an abusive or neglectful home, or puppy mills.
Regardless of the reason, a Westie has ended up needing a new forever home, Sunshine State Rescue Florida takes in any Westie looking for a new home.
Irrespective of health, temperament, or behavior, they put in all the steps to ensure your new puppy or older dog is ready for a placement with a loving family.
Can It Be Risky to Adopt a Westie?
Although some pups might have been through trauma before they arrive at a shelter, Sunshine State Rescue Florida ensures every dog is in tip-top shape before listing them as available for adoption.
This involves a full veterinary examination, all vaccinations, and the spaying or neutering of every dog.
Poorly socialized or trained pooches will also undergo training, so you actually end up with less to worry about by adopting a Westie than purchasing from an irresponsible breeder.
Westies are lovely little dogs that want to please, meaning even if you’re not their first home, this little white bundle of fur will love you if you’re willing to put in a little bit of effort and patience at the beginning.
What Are the Benefits of West Highland Terriers?
Westies might be small, but they have huge personalities.
They love to play and chase, and many owners report on their silliness, bringing never-ending joy.
Although they’re certainly silly, Westies also make great guard dogs and will fiercely protect their families from any perceived threats.
They also love to dig, so if you’re considering a Westie, it might be prudent to set aside part of your garden they can “help’” with.
They make great pets since their affectionate and friendly nature means they will naturally attach to a new family happily.
They also usually get along well with other pets or children who are old enough to know when your Westie has had enough playtime.
Although, as mentioned, it’s not advisable to have a Westie in a home with other small pets such as rodents, birds, and cats due to their high prey drive.
How Much Will It Cost You?
There are few things quite as rewarding as giving a pooch a chance at a new happy life.
Not just the feeling of pride, but the companionship of an animal that will love you unconditionally and change your life forever is its own reward.
Rescuing a Westie is also a cheaper way of getting a new member of the family, as they simply ask for a small donation, which goes part of the way to helping them continue their mission to rehome as many pets as possible.
This covers payments such as premises as vet bills, which can cost thousands of dollars in some cases.
Regardless of the expenses paid in the rehabilitation of any animal, Sunshine State Westie Rescue only charges a small tax-deductible adoption donation ranging from $250 to $500 for each pet.
As Westie Rescues are run solely on a volunteer and donation basis, even if your home isn’t suitable to take in one of these precious creatures, you can still get involved in the good work done by making a donation or volunteering.
Every dog deserves the chance at a happy home, so even if yours isn’t quite right, never underestimate the good you can do for this loving breed.