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!
Bracken – Updated Bio!
Update: Our beautiful Bracken has made great progress. She came back to WBCR in November an anxious, needy, easily overwhelmed girl…it’s now March and she is proving to be really quite a lovely companion, and we’re starting to see signs of the spark she had as a puppy, plus even a bit of her silly side! This sensitive girl mostly just wants to do what’s right and cause no trouble (unlike her brother, who is rather mischievous…) She’s not a super high energy pup, maybe moderate, and she loves to go for walks and bike rides, play with her dog friends, and she plays fetch nicely too. She is quite attentive to her people, is affectionate but doesn’t demand it, is food motivated for sure and is eager to learn. She has a fantastic off switch and settles wonderfully in the house, curling up in a dog bed or on the couch quietly. She’s house trained and crate trained and rides in the car crated or loose well. She’s lost some extra pounds she was carrying and gained muscle; she’s now a lean, slightly built athlete, just a year and a half old. She came back to us afraid of all people other than her immediate family, but she’s since made a handful of new humans friends, has gotten a lot more experience being around dogs of all kinds, and we’ve found she can live peaceably with cats, too. She’s also made great strides with impulse control. She’d probably love to live with a playful confident male dog and needs an experienced Border Collie person who has the know-how to help her continue to learn humans can be trusted and actually be pretty cool. For the right person, this girl is going to be an absolute prize.
Beautiful Bracken – one of the B Bunch puppies who were adopted out just a year ago – has come back to WBCR. Her adopters were unable to give her the help she needed to learn new people are nothing to be worried about. Bracken is back with her original fosters and making great strides on all kinds of fronts: confidence, impulse control, and manners. We are happy to report that we are getting glimpses of the bright and bold pup she was as a tiny youngster, and she has been having a wonderful time playing with the brother her foster mom adopted and learning to trot alongside a bike. We look forward to helping build Bracken’s confidence around strangers. We’ll post more updates and progress reports as we have them.
Chase – Adoption Pending
Chase was adopted some months ago but really struggled in his adoptive home for reasons we are still trying to understand, so now he’s back with his original fosters, is doing well, and is ready for a family to call his own. Chase has so many of those traits we love about the breed: he’s athletic and bright, sensitive, physically capable and loves to join his people on outdoor adventures. While he can be a little unsure and shy around new people, he is sweetly affectionate with his people. He’s great with other dogs and enjoys running and playing with them. He’s not possessive with food or toys but he can be insistent about getting another dog to play. He can be a little herdy with other dogs or chickens; cats are an unknown.
Chase is a tall, leggy young border collie who loves to run after a ball or with another dog. He’s easily distracted though and will break up the game for a splash in a puddle (he’s a water dog – no puddle is safe from him!), a new toy, or to examine a bug in the air or on the ground.
Chase absolutely requires a home that will give him the exercise he needs – he’s on the higher energy end of the spectrum and will need a very good chunk of vigorous exercise daily. Chase is housetrained, crate trained, has a good recall and loves wandering around the backyard. He will need some help learning how to walk well on a leash; once he’s got that, he’ll be a great running buddy. He’ll also need adopters who can work to focus his energy and who can help build his confidence out in the world. Chase is fast and can run forever, so with some work building his comfort and appropriate behavior around bikes (and certain other things that many BCs find very arousing), he could be a great mountain bike partner as well.
All in all, Chase is a happy and sweet young Border Collie who is ready to join a family of his own on outdoor adventures. If you are looking for a potential-filled boy with a smile that can light up a room, Chase may be the one for you!
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.
Just 9 months old and cute as a bug, Duke is super sweet with people and good with other dogs. He came to us because he is quite worried about being left alone. More info coming soon.
Currently fostered near Jackson, WY
Finn – Updated Bio!
This eye-catching pup is a typical young BC in many ways – he loves to play with his people, and will often bunny hop around the ball trying to get anyone to play. Finn is a lean, smaller framed boy and perfectly build for active outdoor adventure. With his fosters, he enjoys going for runs and just took his first hike. Due to being undersocialized as a puppy, Finn can struggle with meeting new people and new dogs. That being said, he has come a very long way already and is much improved on both fronts. Although he can take a little time to warm up to human strangers, it depends on the introduction. With good intros, he is quite a happy social fella eager for attention and occasionally flashes a silly grin. With other dogs, Finn does best with neutral and fairly relaxed dogs. If a dog barks or energetically tries to engage with Finn, he becomes fearful and reactive – so like many BCs he’s not going to be a dog park candidate. However, he lived well with his two parents and he currently lives well with a senior dog, engages in play and generally enjoys his company – so we know he can do it! It may take time for Finn to be comfortable with a new dog but we believe he would settle in well given the right canine companion, and would probably benefit from having a canine housemate. Finn is a higher energy kiddo who will be happiest and at his best with a good chunk of daily vigorous exercise.
Although it took some time to determine, this little lad has some neurological issues that we had looked at by a neuro vet. Right now, we believe Finn is stable and healthy but has some limitations. His vision, coordination, and response to sounds (can hear you but not always tell where the sound comes from) are compromised. Because of this, he will not be a candidate for off-leash and should be kept leashed unless in a secured, fenced area. Despite this, this little fella has a good number of skills! He is crate trained, house trained, and is familiar with the basics: he knows how to sit, down and is good on the leash (he wears a head halter which really helps with his to reactivity to sound/dogs). Finn is just learning to learn but is food motivated and ready for more lessons.
Finn is a sweet, special, charming little Border Collie. If you have a soft spot for the underdog and have the time, energy and experience to help an underconfident dog continue to blossom – Finny boy may be the one for you.
Lily is a lovely lassie who has just arrived into WCBR. Her owner passed away and although Lily is in the loving care of a friend at the moment, she is looking for a family to call her own. We hear she is marvelously well behaved, social and friendly – not to mention beautiful! This healthy 10-year-old classic rough-coated black and white BC is a really wonderful girl. We’ll post more about her asap.
Currently fostered in Taos, NM
Pip – Updated Bio!
But there’s more than just a handsome devil with Pip. Much like a child entering kindergarten without the expected skills to navigate through the system, Pip entered his previous homes without the skills to fit in. Through no fault of his own, there were no people who understood and so Pip got lost in a shuffle, resulting in his already shaky skills deteriorating.
Enter WBCR. Through trial and error, commitment and love, Pip has been given a chance to be who he is while learning valuable skills. Although the path hasn’t been without its twists and turns, Pip is finding out that home life can be pleasant and safe.
Think again about the kindergartener who needs extra support and some differentiation to be successful. While the other kids can run helter-skelter at recess and then calm themselves upon coming back to the classroom, there is sometimes that little one who struggles with this basic expectation. With the right support, he/she can have just as much fun at recess, but the type of activity and length of participation might look a bit different from the “regular” kids.
This is our Pip! With the right balance of moderate exercise, lots of enrichment activities, routine, structure, positive reinforcement and oh-so-much love, this boy just blossoms!
We have found that slow and steady, short and sweet are keys to success with Pip. What might be a great long walk for most dogs might be too much stimulation for Pip. An exciting outing for an “average” dog might be way more than Pip can handle. He needs for his person to pick up on his cues and be willing to make adjustments when necessary.
Some of Pip’s favorite things are enrichment activities. A towel with food sprinkled on it and rolled up tightly is a big hit. He also enjoys his puzzle toys and eating meals from a Kong. The more mental games, the better! Pip is a great fetcher and catcher. He does choose to stop playing and just observe the backyard world at times. A few months ago he couldn’t calm himself enough to be an observer, but now he is great at it in a comfortable and familiar setting.
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. As Pip continues to have positive experiences and loving support, he will continue to grow and blossom into the dog we know he can be.
Susie has made remarkable progress these last couple months thanks to the efforts of her dedicated fosters. She is learning not only how to meet new dogs appropriately, but is cohabitating peacefully with TWO other dogs (one of whom she plays with) and cats too!
Susie remains super social with people, is enjoying beginning agility, really making progress with coming when called, and is ready for a family of her own. This classic rough-coated girl came to us as an owner surrender, from an elderly fellow who felt he couldn’t meet her needs and was moving to town from a rural property. She’s about 5 years old and has been along on many a horse ride in the mountains and rides in the car well.
Tobin – Updated Bio!
Update: Thanks to all the dedicated efforts of his foster mom, this boy has made fabulous progress in his foster home on all kinds of fronts, especially when it comes to self-control, partnering with people, and watching things go by the yard calmly. He is also learning to play fetch! He is quite a different dog than when he first arrived. He’s as handsome as ever and is awaiting his family to find him.
This handsome classic rough coat boy is Tobin, and he’s as good-natured as he is good looking! Originally picked up as a stray, he came to us from a Utah shelter, so we don’t know much about his past. We also had a nice surprise when he arrived – he wasn’t neutered, despite reports to the contrary. He is now, but it’s taken us a little while to get to know him since he was recuperating from that for 10 days or so. But Tobin is now ready to find a family to call his own!
Like many BCs, this fella is going to attach strongly to his people. He’d be a lap dog if you let him, and is never very far away from his current foster mom when in the house, following her from room to room, and will just lie down nearby if her attention is elsewhere. Outside of the house, he is currently more distracted by all that goes on and does not stick by her as closely. He’s a little unsure about a lot of things, including new people, and is kind of standoffish with strangers. Tobin is fairly disinterested in other dogs, and really does not like dogs in his face, so could be happy in a home as a solo dog or with another non-playful dog. Given his worries about things in his face, kids are a definite no for Tobin.
He loves to go for walks and recently really enjoyed his first bike ride! He is learning about toys and starting to fetch, and does show some herdy-ness. Cats are an unknown. Tobin is maybe about 5 years old and just a moderate energy boy who needs a good hour of vigorous exercise daily to be at his best. Once his needs are met, he has a nice off switch and has recently taken to lounging on the dog bed instead of stepping over it.
He will do best in a quiet household with calm, patient people who can enact fair and clear guidelines for him to live by. Tobin has been hard at work learning some basic skills – he’s now house trained and working on crate training – but will need adopters willing to devote time and energy to working with him on both basic skills as well as building confidence. He’s had a lot thrown his way in the past several weeks, and although he doesn’t seem to have a lot of experience out and about, he does bounce back fast if he encounters something new or is startled. That being said, he will need a family who will continue to work with him to broaden his horizons out in the world without allowing him to become overwhelmed.
He is starting to learn a bit of impulse control in his foster home but will need more work on this, as well as general house manners and basic skills. He also needs to learn that things passing by the yard are no big deal – like many BCs, he gets very excited and may bark at louder passing cars and various noises when outside.
Good news is, Tobin is bright and making great progress on all fronts already in his foster home. All in all, this handsome devil has all the makings to be a superb canine companion. If you are looking for a potential-filled pup and are willing to put in the time and energy to help him fulfill his potential, Tobin could be the one for you.
Currently fostered in Wheatland, 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
This beautiful, classic senior girl has just arrived, surrendered by a family who were moving and didn’t think they could take her along. She is as sweet as the day is long, gets along with other dogs, and really enjoys going for walks. A wonderful mellower BC companion! More info coming soon.
Currently fostered in Denver, CO
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
Just arrived from a Wyoming shelter, we’ll post more about this young, friendly, handsome boy as we get to know him.
Currently fostered in Denver, CO
This sweet young little tricolor girl came to WBCR from a Utah shelter. She came in as a stray so we don’t know much about her past. She was initially very timid at the shelter, but has learned people are a great thing! She’s doing well in foster care and we’ll post more as we get to know her.
Currently fostered in SLC, UT
This flashy young split face is a happy and fun-loving girl. She came from a Utah shelter and we are just getting to know her; more info coming soon.
Currently fostered in Breckenridge, CO