Foster and Adoption Application

Thank you for your interest in fostering or adopting a dog in need from North Atlantic Westie Rescue. Please fill out the following application to be considered for fostering or adoption. Only applications that meet our criteria and are fully completed will receive a response. Please allow 5 business days for a response, as we are run by volunteers who work full-time jobs outside of our organization. North Atlantic Westie Rescue does not accept adoption inquiries by phone.

IMPORTANT: Do not fill out this application if you do not meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older
  • You must own your own home or would be willing to obtain a letter from your landlord stating you are allowed to have a dog
  • You live in either Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, or Connecticut for at least nine months out of the year

We are currently not placing dogs in New Jersey or New York due to low volume of volunteers in those areas. We are hoping to re-open those programs in the coming months. If you live in one of these states, please contact our Executive Director ( for a referral to another program.

We also strongly encourage those prospective adopters or fosters who meet the following criteria to first send an email inquiry to our Executive Director ( before filling out the application.  These are not “deal breakers” but require discussion before we will consider your application. We do not want to discourage your application, but we want to respect your time in filling out our lengthy application. There are applicant criteria that are flags for us, and it’s best to discuss those flags before you make the investment in our process.

  • Requires a dog under the age of 5 (note that we rarely have dogs under 5 available for adoption)
  • Requires a female dog (note that we rarely have female dogs available for adoption)
  • Has children under the age of 10 residing in or visiting the home regularly
  • Have ever lost a dog due to an accident, negligence, or theft
  • Have euthanized a dog for biting, aggression, or diagnosis of a treatable condition
  • Have not owned a dog previously
  • Have not owned a Westie or terrier previously (if interested in adopting a Westie only)
  • Owns a cat (almost all our dogs do not like or will attack our feline friends)

In placing our dogs in adoptive or foster homes, we consider the needs of our dogs before any other factor.  Our adoptive placement process takes 2-3 weeks on average but can be longer depending on whether we have an appropriate dog for your situation. In some cases, you may have to wait a few months for a dog. We have more applicants than we have dogs. We are not first come, first serve. We take the responsibility of placement very seriously quite simply because our dogs have been through a lot in their lives. We want to make sure they are going to the right home.

For foster homes, you may wait several months before an opportunity to foster comes up. Assignments vary between a few days and several months. We will work with you to ensure the foster we place with you will do well in your home setting based on your time, skills, and experience. All of our foster parents have the option to adopt their foster dog with approval by the Executive Director before adoptive applicants are considered! 

Adoption and Foster Application

Please fill out this form as completely as possible to be considered for adoption or a foster assignment.
  • Adoption Criteria

    Before you submit an application, please take a moment to let us know whether you meet our basic adoption criteria.
  • Your Contact Information

  • Dog Preferences

  • If you know the name of dog you want to adopt, please name the dog here.
    Check all that apply. Please note that our dogs are generally over the age of 6. Adopters looking for a dog under age 7 may have to wait several months before a dog becomes available.
    We strongly encourage all our adopters to attend obedience training.
    Many of our dogs have a history of biting, but not all bites are created equal. Some bites are caused by human neglect or abuse.
  • Where Would Your Dog Live

    Only answer Yes if your fenced in space is completely secure.
    Age 10 and younger.
  • Primary Caretaker

  • We ask this question because a handful of our adopters have passed away or become very ill. We encourage every adopter to make a plan for your pet in those circumstances, and to be assured that the rescue will always be available to take the dog back into our program as needed. Many people put our organization in their will to ensure their pet has a place to go in case of tragedy.
  • How Would You Care For Your Dog

    NAWR advises adopters to comply with all state laws regarding vaccination, especially rabies. We also recommend your pets be vaccinated for distemper, parvovirus, adenovirus, and Leptospirosis. Your veterinarian will advise you whether additional vaccinations are warranted.
    There are legitimate reasons where euthanasia is reasonable option to handle negative behavior (e.g., unremitting aggression toward people). There is no right answer to this question, but we require all adopters to think through the scenarios where this question is likely to come up.
  • There are circumstances where your veterinarian may recommend euthanasia for a behavioral health condition. NAWR considers each circumstance unique, but wants to ensure our adopters are prepared for situations where this question may come up. The rescue is available for consultation if a situation arises where euthanasia is being considered. In most cases, NAWR will accept the dog back into our program if the only alternative is euthanasia.
  • Pets in Your Household

    If you answered yes to this question, be aware that the majority of the dogs in our program consider cats to be prey. We will not place a dog with a household containing cats if the dog in question is inclined to harm cats.
  • Veterinary Reference

  • We require one current veterinary reference. If your pet is deceased, list your last known vet. If you have never owned a dog or other pet before, please skip this question.
  • Personal References

    We require two personal references from non-family members. We recommend these be individuals familiar with your handling of dogs. Groomers, neighbors, and close friends are good examples of references.
  • Fostering

  • Submit Your Application