Cairn Terriers come into the Rescue system because they have been abandoned or surrendered by their owner. Dogs are placed into Rescue programs for a variety of reasons, including family moves, death, divorce, illness, new baby, owner inability to cope with the dog's health conditions, owner incompatible with Cairn Terrier temperament, conflicts with children and strays found in shelters. Some people may have acquired a dog without considering the fifteen-year (or more) commitment that pet ownership may require. In some cases, a dog is placed in Rescue because of neglect or abuse.
Before placement a Rescue Volunteer will evaluate the dog's personality, temperament, health conditions and adaptability. They will provide any necessary veterinary care and rehabilitation. This dog then may be placed in a temporary foster home if needed or adopted directly to a nurturing permanent home selected to provide the love and care it needs and deserves. Many dedicated and caring volunteers are providing these necessary services to help Cairns all across the country.
Known biters, aggressive dogs or pets who are simply too ill to be adopted are not offered for adoption. Some dogs are offered for adoption within strict guidelines such as placement in homes without children or any other pets.
Dogs are given any necessary veterinary care before adoption. For example, in some parts of the country, heartworm is epidemic, and a dog will need to be treated for heartworm and placed on preventive medication before adoption. Pets will be spayed or neutered.
Rescue groups cannot "guarantee" the future health or well being of any dog. But they will guarantee to take the dog back if the adoption does not work satisfactorily for any reason.
You will not receive AKC registration papers with a Rescue. This does not mean that the dog is not a purebred. However, if you rescue a dog you can apply for an ILP (Indefinite Listing Privilege), which will allow you to compete with your dog in AKC Sanctioned Agility and Obedience events.
Read through all of the Frequently Asked Questions.
Complete the Adoption Application. Make sure all fields are complete and give as much information as possible. Incomplete applications may be rejected or delayed. This application properly completed will provide the Rescue Volunteer with enough information to match your home and lifestyle with an appropriate Cairn Terrier who will fit into both. The goal is to find safe, loving homes for all Cairn Rescues. Responsible breeders, many of whom are Rescue Volunteers, interview prospective puppy purchasers very carefully. You should expect the same from your Rescue Volunteer. No applicant is ever at the top of the list for the next dog. For each Rescue dog, the volunteers will review all pending applications to make the best possible match for the dog and the new family. Your application will be kept on file for two months. If you are still interested in adopting a Cairn after that time, you will need to submit another application. If you should change your mind, please let the volunteer know right away. When you do take your new pet home, you will discover the wait was well worth it!
Once a Rescue Coordinator has reviewed your application and there is a possible match between you and a Cairn, one of the following may occur:
Direct Referral: This occurs when Rescue hears about a Cairn that needs a new home. The dog may be in a shelter or still living with its owner. Rescue does not claim to know anything about the history of the dog or its temperament and the dog is not part of the PCTC Rescue program. Rescue simply informs you of the Cairn and it's up to you to work with the shelter or owner in pursuing the adoption of the Cairn. PCTC's involvement with the adoption process ends with referring you to the shelter or owner.
PCTC Adoption: This occurs when there is a Cairn in foster care with a PCTC member. You may be invited to meet the foster Cairn or asked to schedule a home inspection. If you wish to adopt the Cairn, then a home inspection is done (see What is a Home Inspection?). If everything is in order with the home inspection, then the adoption of the foster Cairn may proceed.
When you pick up your Cairn (in the case of a PCTC Adoption), you will be asked for a donation. Your volunteer will have already discussed this with you during the process. The donation amount for an individual Rescue will depend on the age and the necessary veterinary care (including neutering). Typically, you should expect to donate more for a younger Rescue, since the actual cost for the older ones is offset by asking for a slightly higher donation for those under 4 years. See Is there a charge for a Rescue dog? for details.
A Direct Referral Adoption occurs when Rescue hears about a Cairn that needs a new home. The dog may be in a shelter or still living with its owner. Rescue does not claim to know anything about the history of the dog or its temperament and the dog is not part of the PCTC Rescue program. Rescue simply informs you of the Cairn and it's up to you to work with the shelter or owner in pursuing the adoption of the Cairn. PCTC's involvement with the adoption process ends with referring you to the shelter or owner.
A home inspection is more or less a safety check to make sure that your home is Cairn-ready. The home inspector is looking for situations that you, as a new Cairn owner, may not realize could harm a dog. The inspector will educate you about these things so that they may be remedied. In addition, the inspector is looking to make sure that the particular dog you've chosen will fit into your lifestyle and into your household.
PCTC is a regional club that has a small group of Rescue volunteers. As part of the Rescue placement, we do home checks. We will also take back any Cairn that doesn't work out in its new home or needs to be re-homed in the future if its current home can't do so. We do encourage all owners to make provisions for their animals, but unfortunately not all do so.
Yes, you will be asked for a donation. The donation amount for an individual Rescue will depend on the age and the necessary veterinary care (including neutering). Typically, you should expect to donate more for a younger Rescue, since the actual cost for the older ones is offset by asking for a slightly higher donation for those under 4 years.
If there is no fenced yard, Cairns must be exercised on a leash. Cairns were bred to hunt and it is impossible to train them to resist the urge to chase squirrels, cats, rabbits, other dogs, etc.
Cairns are NOT suited for invisible fencing because they will most likely take a "hit" in order to chase something through the fence. However, they won't take the hit to get back home. In addition, invisible fencing does not prevent attacks from larger dogs or coyotes. Likewise, a Cairn should not be left tied out in a yard for the same reason.
In general, the Cairn is a healthy breed. For more information, you can visit the CTCA website at www.CairnTerrier.org and follow the link to Health Concerns.
In general, Cairns seem to have a natural affinity for children. Although they are tough little dogs, no dog of any breed should be expected to tolerate ear tugging, tail pulling, etc. Intervention is needed if play becomes too rough, and puppies especially need time away to rest undisturbed once in a while.
Because the life history of a Rescue Cairn is largely unknown, PCTC does not adopt Rescue Cairns to families with children aged 7 years and under.
Even if you are unable to adopt or foster a Cairn, there are many other things you can do to help.
You can DONATE one or more of the following:
You can DO one or more of the following:
For more information, contact a PCTC Rescue Chairperson.