The Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond was established in 2008. How far have you come as a rescue centre since then? What inspired you to open the centre?
Westie Rescue of Orange County & Beyond (WROC) is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3) Westie rescue charitable corporation serving all of California. Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and find homes for West Highland White Terriers, to help control the animal population by spaying and neutering our dogs before they are placed in permanent homes, and to provide the public with education about our breed and its needs.
We do not have a facility. We are an all-volunteer non-profit 501c3 corporation and our dogs are fostered in private homes. They are treated like family pets until we find the perfect home for them. Since we started WROC we have placed 548 dogs. Our inspiration is love of these little white dogs, their spirit & determination, and the joy they bring to our lives.
As a rescue centre, you specialise in Westie skin issues. What have you learnt and what advice can you give our readers whose westies are having skin problems?
We receive many Westies in our program that were relinquished by their owners or turned in to shelters because they suffer from skin disorders. Many are due to neglect, some because they are at their wits end trying to rectify the problem, and others because of countless veterinarian visits at an extraordinary expense and a variety of medication does not fix the problem. A pill does not fix the problem, but with time and patience and proper and methodical diet, veterinarian prescribed medications to jump start the immune system and medicated soft brush baths, we have had great success with skin issues.
Your Centre covers the whole of California. How big a task is this? How many Westies (on average) do you take in each month?
We could not do what we do without our extensive network of volunteers, supporters and friends who assist with transporting, fostering, and donating until we find homes for our dogs. In previous years, we averaged about 50-60 dogs per year. This year is much quieter due to current circumstances.
Why did you decide to take in only Westies and no other breeds?
Our first dogs were Westies, and we love the breed. Most importantly, senior Westies have a special place in our hearts! They want nothing more than the chance to enjoy the rest of their lives in a home where they will be loved. We never turn our backs on an older or sick Westie and when there are Scotties, Cairns, Silkies, or terrier mixes in need, we find them homes also.