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!
For those of you who don’t remember this lovely lassie, she is social with adults, warms up pretty quickly to strangers, and will devote herself to her adult humans. Like many BCs, little children concern and worry her; homes with kids over 12 would be OK. Like many female BCs, she has a big sense of personal space and needs slow and calculated introductions to new dogs, so is not a candidate for dog parks or off leash areas where dogs might run up into her face. She has also made friends with felines and lives peaceably with chickens, might we add! Like many BCs, Daisy first and foremost loves to be with her people. She loves to play fetch and frisbee, and go on outdoor adventures like hiking and swimming – fetching in water is her greatest happiness. She is now 10, but is no slouch and is totally game for long walks and hikes and can still go miles. She has a complete “off switch” inside and is at her best with regular outside activity and walks, but is no longer a high energy girl – probably are on the moderate-low end of the spectrum. This from her family: “Daisy is happy to follow you from room to room, lay at your feet or on a nearby dog bed while you read or watch TV. She’ll occasionally ask for pets, but is pretty chill inside. She’s never had people food and doesn’t beg at the table, doesn’t get on the bed or couch (but would if she was allowed to). She still enjoys playing fetch and going on walks. I walk her at least 1-2 miles every day and on the weekends she gets at least 4 miles per day. Also a few ball throws and frisbee tosses; she’ll normally start laying down for me after about 3-5 tosses, but with other people she will go for much longer. If we miss a day of play or walks she doesn’t complain; she is really most happy just being with her people. She loves… LOVES … (can I emphasize this more?!!) to swim and play fetch doing so. Hike to lake with her and play fetch in the water; other dogs can be swimming next to her and she will not even notice.”
No surprise, Daisy is also filled to the gills with skills. She’s house trained, crate trained, and more. This from her family: Daisy has always been easy to train and has always had near perfect recall. She knows how to sit, stay, down, rollover, bang! play dead, come; all of these with verbal cues and hand signals. Our trainer had me working on basic leash work; getting her to heel and watching me for every move; so she would follow with out prompting or feeling the leash. We worked a lot on u-turns “With Me!”, “Come Front” (sit in front of me, facing me), and “Behind” (go sit behind me, looking at the back of my legs), “Smell it”, “Touch” (touch her nose to an object/hand). Daisy is definitely beginning to lose her hearing, but is quite responsive to hand signals as well as a whistle. Her mind remains sharp and Daisy would be happy to learn more! She’s had a dental, where they discovered her kidneys were beginning to have issues, so Daisy is on a special diet (Hill’s k/d) for that.
Daisy is just what most of us are looking for in a BC: the desire to be with and engage with her people, the smarts…but the not so over the top energy level. If you are looking for the already trained, mellower BC package, Daisy may be the one for you.
Dynamite Dallas! This fabulous girl is starting to show us who she is. The jury is still out, since she’s been so busy being a mom, but she sure seems lively and bright, social and playful; we bet she’s maybe a year old. She’s starting to turn on to toys…probably a no for cats. We’ll post more on this girl as we get to know her.
Currently fostered near Casper, WY
Update January 2021:
Well this little guy is still his optimistic self, and as cute as ever, but his mobility has decreased quite a bit. Long walks and short hikes are no longer proving feasible for True, and he is going to need a more specific situation than in the past to be sure his needs are met. In short, his ideal family would:
Have a home with few or no stairs
Have a home with carpet and/or many rugs, and be willing to add yoga mats or carpet runners on bare wood so he can comfortably move across slippery floor areas
Be able to lift 35-40 pounds from the floor, in case he needs to be carried
Pursue regular chiropractic/pt/massage care so True can feel his best
Live in a socially stimulating environment such as a busy household with lots of people and human attention – a family with kids, with people who work from home and/or someone who can take him to a busy work environment regularly. Since True’s best outlet for his energy right now is interacting with people, and this is his first love, a busy social environment is important.
Ideally, already have a playful dog(s) who especially enjoy playing chew face while laying down – this is True’s favorite, and one of the only ways he can play with other dogs. He also enjoys hanging out with other animals too, and one of his best pals is a cat. (His other pal is a potbellied pig, but resident pigs are not required!)
Have lots of toys and things to chew on. He loves toys and he loves to chew on bones!
Therapy work opportunity and interest a plus, but right now all therapy work is on hold due to the pandemic…
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
It’s been 2 and a half months since Winnie arrived to us from Texas. We don’t know much about her past other than she came from a hoarding case…but it’s clear her past wasn’t a good one. This little lass arrived pretty shut down and scared of just about everything…but thanks to the devoted efforts of her foster family, we are pleased to report that glimpses of tail wagging have now officially been made! Winnie is really beginning to blossom. While she still has a ways to go, and right now she’s still a pretty quiet, reserved, and tentative girl, it’s clear that in loving and patient hands, Winnie is going to be able to trust people. And we expect to see more changes as she feels more comfortable and gains confidence. Hard to say how much she’ll change, but we expect it to be some time (many more months) before we really have a clear fix on who she is.
But with this progress, we are going to move her to our “adoptable” page. That being said, Winnie is going to need a pretty special adopter: she has significant issues with confinement as well as being left alone so will need someone who can be with her all the time initially, but who will also work diligently to build her comfort with being left alone and/or confined..her foster mom is now able to crate her for a few minutes at time but it has been a long and slow work in progress. Winnie also requires a family who has another canine (or more!) in the home to be most comfortable. While she’s not very playful (yet) with other dogs, and we won’t be surprised if in time she lets down her hair some on the dog play front, just being around another well-matched dog helps reduce her anxiety. She’s a definite no with cats, though. Winnie seems so far to be a mellower girl but she is enjoying walks, hikes, and bike rides in her foster home.
Whoever adopts this still-to-be-unwrapped gift is surely going to be in for a lovely and interesting discovery project; if you have a soft spot for those very timid types, and the skills to help one grow, Winnie may the one for you!
Currently fostered in Lander, WY
Meet Ben! This young lad has been in a Wyoming shelter since last fall, and was quite timid there, but is already blossoming into a happy fella in foster care! We’ll post more about this cute smoothie as we get to know him.
Currently fostered in Wheatland, WY
Meet Eryn! This barely year-old redheaded girl came to us as an owner surrender… and boy oh boy, if you love BCs, she is the full package. Bright, enthusiastic, athletic, high energy, totally into her people, loves toys…she craves guidance and direction but is oozing with potential! Dog sport candidate anyone??? She is going to need some reining in as well as some building up. She will need a bit more more experience and confidence-building when meeting new people and dogs but in the right hands this girl is going to be a dynamo. She’s also lived with cats in the past. We’ll post more as we get to know her.
Currently fostered outside Jackson, WY
Meet Macy! This lil smooth coat pixie was surrendered to a Wyoming shelter after her owners discovered she was pregnant by their unneutered Aussie. She was barely done being a pup herself, but Macy is ready to move on from being a mama and is looking for a home of her own! She is now discovering the joys of what it’s like to live in a home and be loved…
Currently fostered outside Denver, CO
This flashy lil guy is Max; he came to us from a Colorado shelter. He’s barely a year old and filled with potential. We’ll post more as we get to know him. This flashy lil guy is Max; he came to us from a Colorado shelter. He’s barely a year old and filled with potential. We’ll post more as we get to know him.
Currently fostered outside Denver, CO
Meet Suri! This classic rough-coated girl came to us when her owner headed into assisted living…she is a beautiful girl working hard to adapt to the changes in her life, although apparently, she does like the ball…
Currently fostered in SLC, UT