*** NOTE: Because WBCR is a small organization with few volunteers, we only adopt to families in Wyoming, Colorado, and immediately surrounding states.
The Adoption Process
Thank you for your interest in a rescued Border Collie! Please review the application process below before submitting your application. Please remember that every person working with WBCR is a volunteer, doing rescue in his/her “spare” time, so the first part of our adoption process (our reference checks and home visit) can take 2-3 weeks or longer depending on the dogs in our program. If you’re unwilling to wait that long, we hope that you’ll consider adopting a shelter dog in need, where the wait is much shorter.
Step 1: Do your homework!
If you’re considering/looking for your first Border Collie, please do your homework FIRST! While we think Border Collies are the greatest dogs on the planet, we equally believe that they’re not the dog for everyone. Please read our “About BC’s” page to begin learning more about Border Collies, their temperaments, needs and whether a BC is the right dog for you.
Step 2: Complete & Submit an Application
Please answer all questions completely; incomplete applications will not be processed. Our initial review of your completed application will help us decide whether we may have a dog for you. We know our application is long and detailed, but this information is very important to help us determine if you might be an ideal home for a certain dog in the program. The more information you give us, the easier it will be to do that. Please remember that our top priority is to serve the dogs, and to find the most suitable home for each of the dogs in our rescue. While we enjoy meeting border collie loving applicants, the interests of the dog come first. We don’t have many dogs in our program, which means a waiting game for many qualified applicants.
Step 3: Reference Checks
Once we receive and review your completed application, it’s assigned to a volunteer for reference checks – we will call the references listed on your application, so you’re welcome to let them know that we’ll be contacting them. This initial step typically takes 1-2 weeks, so please be patient!
Step 4: Home Visit
Once the reference checks are complete & approved, a WBCR volunteer will contact you to schedule a home visit. This is an informal chance for us to get to know you, your lifestyle, home environment and determine which dog(s) in our program might be a great fit. The HV volunteer will discuss what personality traits you’re looking for as well as general breed traits and what to expect when bringing a Border Collie home. He/she will also do a short walk-through of your home and yard to ensure its safety and to advise on any areas of concern. All household members must be present for the home visit. Please understand that the HV volunteer may not personally know any/many of the dogs in our program so may be unable to answer questions about specific dogs. Once the HV report is received by WBCR, it may take a few days for us to collate & review all of the information and get back in touch with you.
Step 5: Matching/Phone Interview
Once an application is processed and approved, now comes the fun part! While it’s easy to fall in love with a picture, it is the dog’s personality & temperament that determine whether it may make a great match for you. During the matching process, a WBCR adoption coordinator will contact you to discuss specific dogs within our rescue. We strongly encourage applicants to write down questions they may have about Border Collies, and discuss these questions with the assigned coordinator. We work hard to match your desires with the traits and personalities of our dogs.
Please understand that we only want what is best for our dogs, so if we don’t think a specific dog is a good fit for you, we’re not passing judgment on you/your family but are drawing on years of experience with Border Collies, and, more importantly, experience with the dogs in our program. “First Come First Served” doesn’t apply here as we match each dog in our program with the most appropriate home for him/her, whether that home comes next week or next year!
Step 6: Meet(s)
Once we’ve talked with you on which dogs might be a suitable fit, it is time to set up a meet/meets! Your adoption coordinator will facilitate arranging a meet with your household members, your current dog(s) and the rescued dog. We have experience introducing new dogs, so will help with the introductions of your dog to the rescued dog if applicable. During the meet, keep in mind that rescued Border Collies may be rather aloof/timid at first meeting. While we have seen many meets where there is an “insta-bond” between the new dog and the adopter(s), many times that kind of bonding takes time. The meet is a great time to get any/all questions answered on the dog’s temperament, likes/dislikes, and what will be helpful in establishing a wonderful relationship with your new dog!
Step 7: The Adoption
If both you and the WBCR representative feel the dog is a great match for you, the adoption may be completed after the meet. An adoption contract must be completed, signed and the adoption fee paid to complete the adoption. Please review our contract before your meet; it is available on our website or by clicking here. Please note that if at any time during your rescued dog’s life you cannot/no longer wish to keep it, he or she is required to be returned to WBCR.
Step 8: Follow-up
To ensure a successful adoption, we have a network of volunteers happy to answer any questions/help you work through issues that may arise while your new dog is transitioning into your home, or ten years down the road! We are committed to each and every dog we rescue for the rest of his/her life, so please stay in touch with us. Plus, we love getting updates!
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Cam is one of the Utah Four who came to us late last year, rescued from living on chains out in the Utah desert. Cam was adopted in December but has come back to the rescue after finding his adoptive home and it’s unexpectedly kid filled neighborhood just a wee bit too much. In an effort to help him as much as possible, Cam has spent the past three weeks in board and train with an experienced positive reinforcement trainer from Noble Beast in Denver and has made very good progress…we are looking for a foster and/or adoptive family who will continue to help him make strides towards being the confident BC we think he can be! His trainer has this to say: “Cam is really a lovely dog. For a savvy handler who’s willing to manage him appropriately, he will be an absolute joy. He’s SO funny and responsive and bright. His dog skills are impeccable – he’s gotten every dog in my house to play at least once, and they really never play with guests. He cuddles and snuggles with the best of them! He just needs some support and guidance about the larger world, but his base temperament is quite amazing.” Cam will need a savvy BC home who is willing to continue with addressing his reactivity, utilize trainer support, and is a no go as far as living with cats or kids…but if you are looking for a charming young BC oozing with potential, Cam might be the one for you.
Currently fostered in Denver, CO
Meet Charlie! This pup is just an adorable lively, bright little BC. She came to us from a Utah shelter, where had been surrendered. She was absolutely terrified at the shelter but happily jumped right into life in foster care and is proving to be a delightful pup. Charlie is a sweet girl with her people. Like many BCs, she can take a bit to warm up to strangers depending on how she is introduced but is quickly gaining confidence and experience in her foster home. Although she lived with kids in the past, Charlie was surrendered for having trouble with visiting children in her former home, so is not a candidate for homes with children. She is quite a fetch-head and enjoys playing fetch along with my dogs and understands which frisbee or ball is hers and how to take turns, which is great. She LOVES tennis balls. She’s pretty confident out in the world and loves going for walks and runs. She could be a be a wonderful outdoor adventure companion or dog sport candidate. Charlie gets along with other dogs, but isn’t particularly playful with the two male BCs in her foster home. That being said, she likes having them around, so we think she could do well in a household as the only pup or with other agreeable canines. Her herding instinct test is happening this weekend, so we’ll know more about that in the near future. She may be able to live with dog-savvy cats. Charlie is a pretty high energy girl who will need a good chunk of physical exercise daily – an hour or more of vigorous activity – to be at her best. Charlie lived indoors with her former family and it shows. She is house trained and crate trained and goes straight to her kennel at mealtime! She’s also familiar with the basic manners. She does well off a leash when playing fetch. She is great in the car as long as she can sit/lay on a seat/something soft. Her foster family continues to work with her and she is proving to be a bright kiddo! Charlie will need just a bit more attention to her education and confidence building but she’s definitely got a great foundation already. Charlie is a lovely little lass and has so many of the traits that Border Collie lovers enjoy. If you are looking for a lively and bright girl to join you on all your adventures, Charlie may be the one for you!
Currently fostered in Denver, CO
This beautiful classic girl is Daisy, and she is not yet a year old. She came to us via some other rescuers, who took her in from a rancher with her brother. She is a happy, sweet, bright young girl but was not well socialized during her puppyhood and will need adopters who understand the breed and who will continue to work with her learning the world is a great place. She particularly struggles interacting with some other dogs, although she has recently begun to play with one of the other dogs in her foster home. She lives peaceably with the cats in her foster home. Daisy is shaping up to be a pretty high energy girl, and like most BCs, she is super bright and loves to learn! She is already house trained, crate trained, and learning the basics in her foster home. We’ll post more on Daisy, including more photos, as we learn more about her.
Currently fostered in Durango, CO
Due to the unexpected passing of her devoted owner and longtime BC supporter, Demi is coming back to WBCR. This beautiful girl is about 5 years old now and just stunningly gorgeous – a split face with unique brindle coloring. She came to WBCR a couple of years ago from a Utah shelter, terribly timid, and with health challenges as well when she arrived. We discovered upon spay surgery that she was born with a very rare birth defect – she has since undergone two surgeries at CSU to reconstruct her system. She fully recovered and the past couple years she has had zero problems; her adopter and the veterinarians figured out a regime of diet and meds that works very well. Demi’s special needs at this point just include monitoring her condition and delivering medications with meals. This girl will attach strongly to her people, and looooooves to play frisbee and ball, as well as swim, run, hike…she’s a great outdoor adventure companion. She is athletic but completely settles down in the house, and loves to lay right near her human buddy. She is going to make a marvelous companion for some lucky BC lover. More info coming soon.
Currently fostered outside Jackson, WY
This classic BC is Dex, and we guess he is 4 years old, maybe even younger. His elderly owner passed away, and family did not step up to help, so he landed in a shelter in Utah. Understandably, he was very, very scared and defensive. Although he will warm up to people, it takes him some time to trust – once he does, he’s all yours! 🙂 Dex is super bright but seems to have little experience with other dogs or cats. He will need an understanding and patient home experienced with helping fearful dogs blossom. In the right hands, Dex will grow to be a marvelous canine companion.
Currently fostered near SLC, UT
Beautiful Echo, like True, is a holdover from before WBCR closed in 2016. Like True, she remained with a foster family all this time. She is now ready and looking for her forever home, where she can be cherished. Echo is a special girl who will require a special family: she is fearful and reactive towards unfamiliar people, and like many female BCs, can be touchy with other dogs, although with careful management she peaceably cohabitates with several other dogs in her foster home. She loves her human friends and she is a total ball-a-holic. She’s got all kind of skills – housetrained, crate-trained, basic manners – and she’s not a super high energy girl at all. Echo will require a savvy, experienced owner and a quiet situation, but we know the right family is out there for this glamorous girl!
Currently fostered near Casper, WY
This adorable tricolored red boy is Finn. Not even a year old, Finn came to us from Idaho as an owner surrender with his mother Aurora and father Oakley. It took him a little while to regain his health and strength, but he is now feeling good and ready for a home of his own! Finn is a young pup still figuring out a lot of things about life. His existence before coming to WBCR was terribly sheltered, and he is quite an underconfident young lad. Although he lived with a family and did interact with people, it’s clear he’s had very little experience with the world and everything is rather new to him: new people, living in a house, meeting other dogs. He has come out of his shell tremendously and we expect this to continue for a while. Although he is pretty polite, it takes him a while to warm up to new people. He really struggles with meeting new dogs, and although he gets along well with his mom and dad, and will play with them to some degree, he is unsure on other canines and it may be easiest for him to be the only dog in the home. That being said, he loves to play with his people, and will often bunny hop around the ball trying to get anyone to play. He’s a higher energy boy who will need a good chunk of daily vigorous exercise to be at his best! Given his past, Finny boy also arrived with few skills or general manners, but he is learning lots in his foster home! He will need to adopters willing to continue with his training, set rules and boundaries, and who will be dedicated to building this boy’s confidence at home and out in the world. Finn is a sweet, special little Border Collie. If you have a soft spot for the underdog and have the time energy and experience to help an underconfident dog blossom – Finn may be the one for you.
Currently fostered in Colorado Springs, CO
Due to the unexpected passing of her owner and longtime WBCR supporter, Lolly is coming back to WBCR. This lassie is a spritely, lively, and happy girl, just about 4 years old, a little black and white pixie, brimming with energy. Born on a Wyoming ranch, her humans noticed something different about her at a young age. WBCR agreed to take her in and try to determine what it was that ailed her. Turns out Lolly has a fairly uncommon condition: fluid on her brain (hydrocephalus). After much testing and the help of specialists at CSU, after 6 months with WBCR it was determined that Lolly’s condition is not likely to get worse. Lolly’s condition, however, does mean she will have special lifelong requirements. Her vision, coordination, and response to sounds (can hear you but not always tell where the sound comes from) are compromised but have dramatically improved since puppyhood. Given this, Lolly needs more close supervision than many other dogs, and will need to be carefully managed when outside: on a leash or long line when in unfenced areas, or a large, totally secure and safe enclosed area where she can run without a lead but can still be closely supervised. Because of her deficiencies, it’s not safe to let her off-leash in unsecured areas, even if supervised, e.g., like on a hike, particularly where there might be hazards (like vehicles, water, drop offs, wildlife, etc.). That being said – a more endearing little girl would be hard to find. More info coming soon.
Currently fostered outside Denver, CO
Ah, Pip! Such a fabulously flashy fellow, he is brimming with character to match his good looks. Pip came to us from Colorado shelter, and was bounced from home to home before coming to WBCR. About two years old, this classically marked, flashy gold and white BC (please note – he has a docked tail) is a playful, funny, and lively fellow. He enjoys his humans and dog friends alike! Like many BCs, Pip needs careful and well-managed introductions to strangers and new dogs – but once he knows and loves them it’s game on! Pip adores play and toys with both people (he fetches!) and other dogs (goofing around!) but will definitely do best with adopters who will set clear and fair and consistent boundaries, and who can rein him in – he can be a lot of dog! Like most BCs, Pip also loves to learn and the sky’s the limit with this eager beaver. He is house trained, starting on crate training, and learning the basics, but boy oh boy, that’s just scratching the surface with this kiddo. All is all, Pip is another of our dogs that is brimming with potential just waiting to be tapped by an experienced BC lover. Whoever takes home this prize will, with some time and effort, be rewarded with years of delightful companionship filled with laughs and love.
Currently fostered near Denver, CO
Ruby – Adoption Pending
Right on the heels of Demi and Lolly, another lovely little lass is coming back to WBCR through no fault of her own. Unexpected life changes for her adopter mean adorable Ruby Tuesday, who was adopted in May 2018, is once again looking for a family to call her own. This little pixie with the mile-wide smile is super sweet and has made great progress in the last year. She has learned that people are good, first and foremost! Yet she remains quite a sensitive girl, especially to sound, and will do best living in a quiet rural setting with a regular routine. She’s on the lower energy side but has learned to fetch this past year, can trot merrily alongside a bike as we recall, and would enjoy walks if it didn’t mean she had to get in a car…this girl gets pretty stressed when traveling in vehicles. Ruby originally came to us from rural Idaho from a situation with more animals than they could handle. She has lived successfully with cats and could live with a quieter, easygoing and confident dog. Rumor has it she lived with a lot of livestock safely in her past. If you are looking for a happy homebody to share your quiet place in the country, Ruby could be your dream dog!
Currently fostered outside Denver, CO
This striking young tricolor came to us from Texas, where he was found as a stray, terribly underweight. He loves people, going for outdoor adventures, and playing fetch! Rumor has it he shows working dog potential as well. We’ll post more about him as we get to know him.
Currently fostered in Lander, WY
This is True. He’s an incredibly special little Border Collie. Born with deformed front legs and an irrepressible spirit, his smile can light up a room. True loves nothing more than meeting people and spreading happiness. Being a shop or office dog would probably be his dream come true. He adores kids, is great with other dogs, gets along with cats, potbellied pigs and livestock, and has become a registered therapy dog. He enjoys walks, occasional hikes, and loves toys and the snow. He thinks visiting his foster mom’s brother’s family, with two kids and lots of people coming and going, is fabulously fun. True’s perfect family is out there, and if you are looking for an incredibly special little guy who brings joy to everyone he meets, we’d love to hear from you.
Currently fostered near Jackson, WY
Little Wally came to WBCR originally 9 years ago as a stray pup from Nebraska – and has just come back to us due a divorce. He is a sweet, well mannered, shy and quiet fellow…like any sensitive dog, Wally has struggled a bit getting his feet back under him given all the changes in his life but has adjusted to life in his foster home and is ready for a family of his own to belong to! Wally is a shy and reserved but polite kind of guy….this stems partly from a lack of confidence. He takes a little while to warm up to new people – like many dogs, he is more comfortable with women – and will need coaching when new people come to visit his home, but will attach strongly to those he knows. He does well with meeting new dogs especially if dog intros are done properly (off leash in a quiet environment), is somewhat playful with dogs, and has lived his whole life with a canine companion so we think he’d be happiest sharing a home with another dog. He is kind of a herdy guy but is currently living peaceably with a dog-savvy cat. He enjoys games of fetch with a little keep away thrown in for good measure! Wally loves to go for walks and runs and bike rides and will make a great outdoor adventure sidekick; dog parks and the like will probably overwhelm this timid fellow, and he gets a little worried initially in new places. Wally will benefit from adopters who can continue to work to build his confidence out in the world. That being said, he’s no slug and will need a good chunk of vigorous exercise daily to be at his best! Wally also has a good chunk of skills to boast of: he’s house trained, has some basic manners, and rides in the car well. Like many under confident dogs, more manners training would be great, but using gentle, reward-based methods will be essential for this sensitive boy who is worried about many things including learning! Little Wally is going to make a devoted, well-mannered and enjoyable companion for someone willing to work with a dog who needs a little help in the confidence department. If you have a soft spot for helping those timid types blossom, Wally may be the one for you!
Currently fostered in Denver, CO
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Dogs Not Yet Ready for Adoption