Dog adoption saves lives. Adopt a dog and you'll have a friend for life! Contact us, or contact another local humane society, animal shelter or SPCA.
A wonderful way to get your dog food supplies and have $20 donated to our organization is to use the link below to chewy.com. They will donate for the first order only.
NWAL Herding Dog Rescue, Inc. is a non profit, tax exempt 501(c)(3) all volunteer organization . We rescue homeless and abandoned Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties), and mixes thereof and rehome them to loving, responsible and approved forever homes. Founded in 2003 in the State of Alabama, now located in West Virginia, Kentucky,we take in approximately 200-250 Shelties, and mixes thereof, no matter the age or problem, each year.
We are not a brick and mortar shelter facility. We are a network of foster homes, located in AL, KY, WV, that allows us to get to know the dog’s personality and character, along with any special needs, they may have before adoption. Each dog is treated accordingly, then spayed/neutered, brought current on shots, wormed, heartworm tested (and if positive - treated) , started on Sentinel Heartworm Prevention, microchipped, treated for fleas and ticks and groomed.
As with any responsible rescue, we are committed to our animals for life. If for any reason the relationship with your adopted Sheltie, or mix is not working, or if your situation changes and you are unable to keep or care for this adopted dog anymore, we have an unconditional return policy. Do not take this rescue to a brick and mortar shelter facility, please call us to arrange to have your adopted dog transported back to any of our foster homes that is closest to you.
I. The Adoption Process
II. What We Expect From Adopters
III. What Adopters Can Expect From Us
IV. Adoption Fees
V. Frequently Asked Questions
Please read carefully. If you decide to apply to adopt one of our Shelties, you will find a link to the application at the end of the page. If you have never had a Sheltie, please read the page “About Shelties.”
I. The Adoption Process
We want the best possible forever homes for our Shelties and we know you want a dog that is a great match for you. NWALHDR has an organizational structure designed to match the right dog with the right adopter:
A. Potential adopter fills out application completely and emails it to firstname.lastname@example.org
B. The application is reviewed by NWALHDR’s Adoption Coordinator, who will contact applicant if there are any questions.
C. A volunteer will schedule a home visit with the applicant. At this visit, all family members and household pets must be present. The volunteer answers questions, shares information about Shelties, checks security of fencing (unless other means of securing the premises is available), looks for any dog hazards, examines number and steepness of stairs, discusses Sheltie size, color, age, and temperament preferences that the applicant may have.
D. The Adoption Coordinator calls all the applicant’s references and receives a home visit report from the volunteer. This becomes part of the application. The Adoption Coordinator will reply to the applicant with information about acceptance and next steps.
E. Adoption Coordinator compiles a list of all approved adopters and sends it to all the Foster Care Providers in Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia
F. Each Foster Care Provider reviews applications and home visit reports and will contact an applicant who looks like a good match for that foster dog.
G. If an applicant is interested in the dog described by the foster provider, a meeting is arranged so the entire family can meet the dog—preferably first at the foster home and then at the applicant’s home.
H. If all are in agreement that this is a good match, the adoption contract is signed and the adoption fee is paid to NWAL Herding Dog Rescue.
I. Applicants may contact the Adoption Coordinator if they see a dog on our website that they are interested in meeting. That interest will then be communicated to the dog’s foster provider.
II. What We Expect From Adopters
A. We consider only applicants who want a Sheltie as a member of the family, one that will be an inside/outside dog, and not kept outside all the time, especially when the family is not home.
B. We do favor applicants with securely fenced yards for most (but not necessarily all) of our Shelties. For puppies and most young dogs, a fence is required. Some middle-aged or senior dogs can do well in homes with no fenced yard if the family is willing to take the dog for frequent walks - on leash, of course.
C. We do NOT place dogs in homes with invisible fences or dogs that will be kept in 10x10 kennels all day.
D. We expect adopters to provide plenty of exercise and mental stimulation for a dog. Most Shelties are active and need to run and play or have a some kind of job; they are not meant to be couch potatoes.
E. We do NOT place dogs in homes that have intact pets or pets that are not up to date on vaccinations.
F. If a dog is placed in a home with young children, we expect parents to train their children in proper treatment of the dog and to carefully monitor interactions between the dog and the children.
G. Other requirements in our adoption contract include the following:
• The dog may never be allowed off a leash outdoors unless it is in a securely and physically fenced area.
• The dog must be kept on Sentinel heartworm preventative year round.
• The dog is never to be left outside when you are not home.
• The dog must wear ID tags, even if it is microchipped, including the NWALHDR ID tag, at all times.
• If the dog cannot be kept for any reason, it must be returned to NWALHDR.
III. What You Can Expect From Us
A. Every Sheltie that comes into NWALHDR is placed with an experienced foster provider for a minimum of three weeks and often for several months.
B. While in foster care, a dog is carefully evaluated to determine any health or behavior problems.
C. By the time the dog is certified as ready for adoption, it will have had all needed vet care at NWALHDR expense. The dog will be:
• Spayed or neutered, unless it's a puppy less than six months of age.
• Up-to-date on rabies, distemper, parvo, and other appropriate vaccines.
• Tested for Heartworm, Lyme, E. Canis, and various other parasites and, if positive, treated for any of these.
• Provided with Sentinel Heartworm preventative.
• Bathed and groomed.
• Given a professional dental cleaning if needed and treated for any other problems that present themselves while in our care.
D. The dog will have been tested to determine how well it interacts with other dogs, cats, birds and with children of various ages.
E. If the dog shows aggressive behavior or has a biting history, it will not be placed for adoption.
F. The dog will be given remedial housetraining if needed.
G. The dog’s foster provider will leash train it and provide a start on training in other basic commands. You will receive a martingale collar and leash with your adopted dog.
H. As complete a medical history as possible will be given to adopter.
I. As complete a picture of the dog’s temperament as possible will be given to adopter, as well as, the dog’s eating habits and type of food and supplements.
IV. Adoption Fees
• Young dogs up to 1 years old: $ 400
• Adults 1-9 years old: $ 350
• Senior Adults 10 years old and older: $250
We spend about $500 or more in veterinary services alone for the average Sheltie taken into NWALHDR. This amount does not include the room, board, evaluation, training, food, supplements and love that our volunteer foster homes provide - free of charge. So, our adoption fees cover only a small part of the expenses incurred in rehoming our Shelties. We rely heavily on donations and on fund-raising events.
V. Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do you have a shelter where I can come to see all the dogs you have available for adoption?
A: No. Each Shelties is placed in an appropriate foster home. Our foster homes are in Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia. You can see photos and brief descriptions of our dogs on our website page. We cannot, however, arrange for you to meet a particular Sheltie until you have submitted an application, had your home visit, and been informed by the Adoption Coordinator that you have been approved to adopt.
Q: Where do the dogs come from that you take into your rescue organization?
A: Most are surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. Some are turned in by breeders who are leaving their businesses. A few are shelter dogs that may have been strays or turned in by owners.
Q: How long will it take to adopt a Sheltie?
A: Since NWALHDR is made up exclusively of volunteers, many with full time jobs in addition to their volunteer work, the process of reviewing applications, completing home visits, calling references, and communicating with foster providers can take a few weeks. If your needs and preferences are very specific, finding a good match can take a few months. Sometimes a dog that looks like a perfect match for you has some medical or behavioral issues that must be addressed before adoption. (Scheduling and recovery from a simple spay, dewclaw removal and dental, for example, can delay adoption by several weeks.)
Q: I don’t live in West Virginia. Am I eligible to adopt a dog from NWALHDR?
A: We normally prefer to adopt to applicants in West Virginia, however, we do have foster homes in Alabama, Kentucky, and will adopt out in those states as well, and close-in areas of neighboring states (Virginia, Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina). If you don't live in our area, you should look into the Sheltie rescue groups that are closer to you, unless you see one of our dogs that is absolutely the dog for you. All of the Sheltie rescue groups are listed on the website of the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. For our harder-to-place dogs, we will consider applicants from farther away. A home visit must be done and can be arranged by a rescue organization near you. You would have to travel to the dog’s foster home to meet him/her.
Why should you adopt?
Dog adoption and cat adoption saves lives. Adopt a dog or adopt a cat and you'll have a friend for life! What is the difference between adopting a dog or puppy versus getting dogs for sale or puppies for sale from a dog breeder? When someone is breeding puppies, they are creating new dogs who need homes. Some people are interested in a very specific breed of dog or puppy and they think the only way to find that specific breed is to buy a dog for sale from a puppy breeder. Yet animal shelters are filled with dogs who must find homes. So rather than buying a dog or puppy for sale from a dog breeder, we encourage people to adopt a dog or adopt a puppy at their local animal shelter, SPCA, humane society or pet rescue group.