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WHY IS CAIRN TERRIER RESCUE NECESSARY?

HOW DOES YOUR ADOPTION PROCESS WORK?

CAN SOMEONE IN THE ORGANIZATION HELP SELECT THE RIGHT DOG FOR ME?

DO I HAVE TO SELECT A DOG IN ORDER TO SUBMIT AN APPLICATION?

HOW LONG DOES THE ADOPTION PROCESS NORMALLY TAKE?

CAN I ADOPT A DOG FROM ANOTHER PART OF THE COUNTRY?

ARE CAIRNS GOOD WITH CHILDREN AND DOES CPCRN ADOPT RESCUES TO FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN?

HOW CAN I VISIT THE DOG I WANT TO ADOPT?

WHAT IF I SEE MORE THAN 1 DOG THAT I AM INTERESTED IN ADOPTING?

I WANT TO APPLY TO ADOPT A CAIRN, BUT I DON'T SEE ONE ON YOUR WEBSITE AT THE MOMENT THAT I AM INTERESTED IN ADOPTING. WHAT DO I DO?

I AM INTERESTED IN ADOPTING A DOG ON YOUR WEBSITE THAT IS NOT IN THE COL. POTTER CAIRN RESCUE NETWORK. WHAT DO I DO?

HOW DO I KNOW IF A DOG IS ACTUALLY IN THE CPCRN RESCUE PROGRAM?

DO CAIRNS NEED TO BE ON A LEASH?

WHY CAN'T I ADOPT A CAIRN RESCUE IF I HAVE ELECTRIC FENCING?

DO CAIRNS GET ALONG WITH OTHER DOGS?

DO CAIRNS GET ALONG WITH CATS?

IS THERE A CHARGE FOR A RESCUE?

AREN'T CAIRNS JUST LIKE TOTO?

HOW LONG DOES A TYPICAL CAIRN LIVE?

HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET PUPPIES IN RESCUE?

WHAT COLOR ARE CAIRNS?

HOW MUCH DO CAIRNS WEIGH?

ARE CAIRNS GOOD DOGS FOR OLDER PEOPLE?

WHAT MEDICAL PROBLEMS ARE COMMON TO THE BREED?

ARE CAIRNS HOUSEBROKEN?

HOW MUCH GROOMING WILL A CAIRN REQUIRE?

ARE CAIRNS LAP DOGS?

ARE CAIRNS BARKERS?

DO CAIRNS DIG?

DO CAIRNS LIKE TO RIDE IN CARS?

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO OWN A CAIRN?

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Back to Top Why is Cairn Terrier Rescue necessary? (Is something wrong with the breed?)

People give Cairns up for the same reasons people give up any dog. Some of the reasons we hear most often are: death, illness, divorce, moving, allergies and financial problems. It is not unusual to have even the most loving household experience health or personal problems that necessitate the placement of their pets. The most common reason is that the owner doesn't have time for the dog. As a result, the Cairn could develop behavior problems from lack of attention and training. Some Cairns are abandoned on the streets, some are turned in to shelters that are only able to hold dogs a day or two, while others are obtained through auctions or kennel closures.

Fortunately, Cairns are a very adaptable breed and rescue Cairns adapt well to new situations with the proper care and training.


Back to Top How does your adoption process work?

Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network (CPCRN) adoption process is a 4-step process:

  1. You must submit an on-line Adoption Application (in full) for review by our Adoption Committee. PLEASE NOTE: If your Application is not complete, it cannot be processed.

  2. A thorough reference check will be conducted in which we contact the references you gave us in your Application. A member of our Communications Team will contact all of your references, as well as your veterinary reference. A telephone interview with you may be conducted. After this, a reference report will be submitted to the Adoption Committee for review.

  3. A home safety inspection must be conducted and a report submitted to the Adoption Committee for review.

  4. Once the first 3 steps have been completed, the Adoption Committee will vote on your Application and a Committee member will officially notify you of the results.

If you are approved to adopt a dog from us, we will make every attempt to match you and your family with the Cairn best suited for you. Our Placement Services Team is prepared to help find you a Cairn that is suitable to your family’s needs. A Placement Specialists will be assigned to work with you individually to find the right dog for you. Finally, once a dog has been found that is determined to be the best match, you will be asked to talk to the foster parent of that dog. This is your chance to ask all the hard questions about the dog and to learn as much as you can before final adoption approval for that particular dog is granted. After you have spoken with the foster home and a member of the Adoption Committee, the Committee will make a final adoption approval decision. This decision will be discussed with you at that time. CPCRN cannot “hold” or “promise” any dog for any Applicant until official adoption approval for that dog has been granted by the Committee and an Adoption Contract has been tendered to an Applicant. Any change in status of the dog on the Available Dogs page prior to you talking to a foster family will mean the dog is being adopted by another family.


Back to Top How long does the adoption process normally take?

After your Application has been submitted and received by the Committee, the entire process can take fewer than 2 or 3 weeks. However, you can help us speed the process along by answering all the questions on the Application in detail and alerting your personal references that our Reference Coordinator will be contacting them by phone for a reference check. Delays are often encountered when we cannot reach an Applicant's references or their Applications are incomplete. Please verify all telephone numbers and e-mail addresses prior to submitting your application.


Back to Top Can I adopt a dog from another part of the Country?

Yes. It is preferable for the adoptive family to travel to the foster home to adopt the dog. Occasionally, the adoptive family and the foster caregiver will each travel part of the way and meet in between at a specified location. Of course, this will depend upon the schedule of the foster caregiver and his/her ability to travel. Not all foster homes can travel to transport their foster dogs. Very occasionally, CPCRN can help to arrange a "transportation chain" where the dog is passed from one volunteer to the next: each person taking the dog an agreed-upon distance until the dog finally gets to his or her "forever home." When any of our volunteers (including the foster home) helps transport the dog any portion of the journey to its adoptive family, we ask for a 15¢ per mile round-trip tax-deductible donation to help defray the cost of rescue and transportation. Dogs can also be shipped on most major airlines or taken on the plane by the adoptive owner. The costs associated with airline transportation are normally between $100 and $200 (not including the cost of a human ticket if in-cabin transportation is selected), depending upon the airline and the route. It all depends upon the circumstances as well as the dog itself. Some dogs would not do well travelling by air, and others would be just fine. Some foster homes have the time to travel a few hours to meet the adoptive family and some do not. Occasionally the airlines will not fly animals due to extreme heat or cold. This is always a consideration. We try to do everything we can to place the right dog in the perfect home. We will work with you in that regard, however, we ask that you give careful consideration to the rescue dog's location and how you might be able to transport him or her to your home should you be approved to adopt.


Back to Top Are Cairns good with children and does CPCRN adopt Rescues to families with children?

Cairns can make excellent family pets. However, because the rescue's life history and prior experience with children is rarely known, Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network does not adopt rescue Cairns to families with children under the age of 12. Very rare exceptions may be made if we have a detailed history of the rescue Cairn and its history with children. In these exceptional cases, only families with current or recent experience with Cairn terriers would be considered, and all children in the home must be over 8 years of age.

Our Cairn rescues have already suffered at least one, and often more than one disruption in their lives. Our mission is to assure that their placement is a successful one. Virtually all rescues come into rescue with at least some emotional "baggage," and Cairns being Cairns, will often attempt to assert their place in the family "pack" shortly after being adopted. Loving and gentle children, who have been raised to treat animals with respect and care, can rarely assume the role of "alpha" in the family "pack" over a Cairn Terrier, especially one who is trying very hard to establish his or her place in the hierarchy of the family.

It is also important to note that small dogs in general, and terriers specifically, can become over-stimulated around small children who run, scream, cry, pat them on the head, pull their fur, ears, tails, or make sudden movements. Cairns who have not been raised in a household with children can become agitated or over-protective when they hear children's high-pitched, excited voices or hear them crying. Cairn Terriers were bred to chase, hunt, and kill vermin, therefore they have a very strong "prey drive." This instinct, which is virtually impossible to train or breed out of them, results in their chasing anything that runs or moves quickly, as children often do. It also, sadly, can lead to tragic accidents if children inadvertently leave doors open or ajar. Cairns will instinctively chase rabbits, squirrels, bunnies, birds, etc., as well as bicycles, rollerbladers, scooters, papers fluttering down the street and other moving objects, animate and inanimate. Therefore, close supervision and secure containment as well as being ON LEASH at all times is paramount to their safety.

It is our recommendation that families with children under the age of 12 who are interested in adding a Cairn terrier to their home seek out a reputable breeder. Here is a link to Cairn Terrier Breeder Referral: www.CairnTerrier.org


Back to Top How can I visit the dog I want to adopt?

All of our foster homes are volunteers who have families, jobs, and dogs of their own. Often, they have more than 1 foster Cairn in their care. In order to reduce their workload, visits and phone calls from applicants who are not yet approved to adopt a dog are not permitted. Once you have completed the approval process and are approved to adopt one of our Cairns, you will be put in touch with the foster home to discuss the dog you're interested in adopting. Until then, we will answer any questions you may have about any of the dogs in our rescue program.


Back to Top What if I see more than 1 dog that I am interested in adopting?

By all means, if you see more than one CPCRN dog that you might like to adopt or learn more about, please notify the Placement Specialist of your interest.


Back to Top I want to apply to adopt a Cairn, but I don't see one on your website at the moment that I am interested in adopting. What do I do?

We do not have you list dogs you are interested in on your application because we currently adopt about out a dog a day. Please fill out the Adoption Application and once you are approved to adopt from CPCRN, a Placement Specialist will be assigned to assist you in finding the right Cairn for you.


Back to Top I am interested in adopting a dog on your website that is NOT in the Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network. What do I do?

Our Adoption Application is only for dogs currently available for adoption in the CPCRN program. If the dog you're interested in adopting is *not* in CPCRN, please contact whichever organization is listed beside its name and description for information, availability, and adoption requirements.


Back to Top How do I know if a dog is actually in the CPCRN rescue program?

Every dog in CPCRN has a little pink heart graphic printed to the left of its name and description.


Back to Top Aren't Cairns just like Toto?

TOTO: The Other Side of the Story

So, "The Wizard of Oz" is your favorite movie, you just LOVE Toto, and have always wanted a dog just like him? A dog who's small, cute, lovable, and doesn't shed all over your couch? You've done your research and learned that Cairn Terriers are (take your pick):

Well, YES and NO.

Probably NO ONE ever told you that Cairns will almost INVARIABLY:

Nor, it seems, has anyone told you:

What they SHOULD have told you is:

THAT PART IS ALL UP TO YOU!

Oh, and by the way, Toto was actually a GIRL!

Back to Top How long does a typical Cairn live?

Cairns can live well into their teens, and most are still very active and alert at 10 years of age and older.


Back to Top How often do you get puppies in Rescue?

Puppies and dogs under the age of two don't come into the Rescue program very often.


Back to Top What color are Cairns?

Cairns come in a variety of colors, ranging from cream to wheaten (straw colored), red, gold, and shades of grey, to almost solid black. Their coat can be almost a single solid color, such as solid wheaten, or it can have a "brindle" coat (multiple colors in the coat, but not spotted). White is not a Cairn color. A "white Cairn" is most likely a West Highland White Terrier, commonly known as a Westie.

All Cairns are attractive, and no color holds special mention. You will love your Cairn whatever the color. A Cairn coat is typically a double coat, with a soft undercoat and a harsh outer coat. You should also be aware that Cairns MAY change color, often several times during their life.


Back to Top How much do Cairns weigh?

Cairns typically weigh between 13 and 17 pounds. However, it is not unusual to see a Cairn weighing 20 pounds or slightly more and still be in good weight.


Back to Top Are Cairns good dogs for older people?

Some Cairns would be wonderful with a senior depending on the individual energy levels of the dog and the people. As a rule, Cairns are an active breed; however, they do mellow some with age. Senior or more mature Cairns are recommended for those in their "golden years."


Back to Top Do Cairns get along with other dogs?

Like humans, that depends on the individual situation. Your Placement Specialist will discuss this with you when you are approved to adopt.


Back to Top Do Cairns get along with cats?

Most of the Cairns we receive are older and already have an established history with or without a reaction to cats. Rescue Cairns who have not previously lived successfully with a cat generally do not get along with a cat, particularly because of their breeding as hunting dogs. Another thing to keep in mind is that just because a Cairn previously lived with a cat, it doesn't necessarily mean it will get along with other cats, since the Cairn may react positively only with its previous cat companion.

For more information on living with Cairns and Cats, see the article: Can Cairns and Cats Live Together Peacefully?


Back to Top What medical problems are common to the breed?

In general, the Cairn is a healthy breed. For more information, see www.cairnterrier.org/reboot/health.html.

One advantage to adopting an older Cairn is that it is easier to determine if there will be any health issues than it is with a young puppy.


Back to Top Are Cairns housebroken?

Whether or not a rescue Cairn is housebroken depends on the individual situation. All rescue Cairns MUST HAVE a crate, and the owners are urged to train the Cairn as one would a puppy for the first several months regardless of whether the Cairn was housebroken before or not. Good beginnings make for happy endings, and it is better to reinforce the desired behavior from the start rather than try to backtrack and retrain later. Cairns are a smart breed and will learn the rules if the owner takes the time to properly train.


Back to Top How much grooming will a Cairn require?

Over all, the Cairn requires less grooming than most other breeds. Routine grooming should include regular brushing, toenail clipping or filing, teeth brushing, and occasional baths. In addition, hand stripping should be done periodically to remove dead hair and permit new hair growth. The Cairn Terrier Club of America has a wonderful grooming booklet available for several dollars.


Back to Top Do Cairns need to be on a leash?

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. Likewise, a Cairn should not be left tied out in a yard for the same reason.


Back to Top Why can't I adopt a Cairn Rescue if I have electric fencing? My other dogs have been trained with it.

Many of our Rescues are escape artists, which is how they came into Rescue in the first place. Electric fencing is NOT recommended for anyone with a Cairn Terrier (Rescue or otherwise) for two primary reasons:

  1. Cairns will often take the electric-shock "hit" if they see something they consider prey (like a squirrel or bunny), but they will NOT take the "hit" to return to their yard. Therefore, they're in danger of being lost or killed by a car.
  2. Electric fencing does NOT prevent other, often larger, dogs from entering the Cairn's property; Cairns are sometimes killed or severely injured by dogs from which they cannot escape. Add to that the fact that most Cairn Rescues have NOT been trained with electric fencing since they were young, and it's a potential tragedy waiting to happen.

Cairns must be ON LEASH at all times or they must be contained by secure fencing. Therefore, we do not adopt our Rescue Cairns to anyone with electric fencing as their primary means of containment.


Back to Top Are Cairns lap dogs?

In general, Cairns are very loving dogs. Some do tend to be somewhat independent, especially when young, while others may love to sit in your lap for hours. Cairns are a very devoted breed, although most do not "hover" at your every move. Cairns are a mentally strong breed.


Back to Top Are Cairns barkers?

Some Cairns bark, while others hardly bark at all. In general, Cairns make good watchdogs and will often let you know when there are strangers (or squirrels) in the vicinity.


Back to Top Do Cairns dig?

In general, Cairns will dig. However, some are not interested in digging at all. It depends on the individual dog. By keeping the nails short, and with training, many of those who do dig can learn not to.


Back to Top Do Cairns like to ride in cars?

Whether or not a Cairn likes riding in cars depends on the individual dog. Typically a Cairn is not prone to carsickness. A Cairn should either be secured in a seat belt harness or in a crate when traveling in a vehicle. This will protect you and your Cairn in the event of an accident.


Back to Top How much does it cost to own a Cairn?

The major expense of caring for a Cairn is its food and preventive medical care. Some Cairns are sensitive to wheat, corn, or beef and need a special diet, such as lamb and rice. This type of food can be found in most pet supply stores, but not in grocery stores.

Cairns may also develop common canine diseases such as rabies, distemper, kennel cough, or worms just through contact with other dogs or the fecal matter of other dogs. Also, during warm weather, dogs are susceptible to heartworms that develop from being bitten by mosquitoes in some parts of the country. Appropriate vaccinations and medication can prevent all of these problems.

Cairns should also be hand stripped to maintain the health of their skin and coat, so if you do not plan to do this yourself, you should add a groomers fee to your expenses.

Of course, you will want to have the proper leash and collar and toys to keep your Cairn out of trouble. Yes, toys will keep him out of trouble as they give him something to do (and chew) that will prevent unwanted attention to your best shoes or rug. After a Cairn is properly housebroken, he will need some type of bed if he does not sleep on yours or in his crate.

The costs for normal care of a healthy dog run about $30-50 a month. If you travel and your Cairn does not go with you, you will also need to figure in some type of care for him while you are gone.

We would like to remind you that a dog of any breed may develop diseases same as humans such as cancer, heart problems, arthritis, diabetes, incontinence, etc. These diseases are not transmittable to humans. We bring this issue up only to make you aware that you might want to consider how you would handle the situation if your dog develops problems due to age or illness.


Back to Top Is there a charge for a Rescue?

At the time you adopt one of our rescue Cairns, you will be asked to make a donation to CPCRN. This donation helps defray shelter fees and other costs paid to procure our Rescues, the cost of transporting them to our foster homes, the costs of providing them with food and appropriate veterinary care, including spay/neuter, immunizations, heartworm testing and prevention, and other medical and/or grooming needs as are required by the particular dogs in our program. The requested adoption donation for young Cairns between the ages of 1 and 6 years is typically between $300.00 and $350.00, depending upon their age; for Cairns 6 years and over, it is typically $200.00. For Cairns in their golden years or which have long-term health issues, the requested adoption donation is usually reduced based on the age of the Cairn and/or the care and medications that the Cairn will require post-adoption. For young puppies under the age of 12 months, the requested adoption donation is typically $375.00, and if the puppy is not altered prior to placement (which would typically be the case if the puppy is under 6 months), we also require that the adopting family agree to a spay/neuter deposit which deposit is FULLY refundable upon presentation and verification of a spay/neuter certificate. This is further explained in the rescue protocol for young puppies, which you will receive if you are applying for a pup under six months of age. Please verify the requested donation amount on any dog that you are considering for adoption. As adoption donations do not constitute purchase monies paid for the Rescue, they are not refundable in the event that you decide to return the Rescue or for any other reason.


Back to Top Can someone in the organization help select the right dog for me?

Yes! If you are approved to adopt a dog from our organization, you will be assigned to a member of our Placement Services Team. A Placement Services Specialist will work with you to find a Cairn that matches your family’s wants and needs.


Back to Top Do I have to select a dog in order to submit an Application?

No! If you have determined that the Cairn terrier breed is right for you, please submit your Application now. We encourage you to fill out an Application even if you do not currently see a Cairn on our site that seems to fit your family’s needs. Our website is updated regularly due to the large number of Cairns that we rescue and rehome. We are currently adopting out about one cairn a day, so there is a lot of turnover. If you are approved to adopt, you will be assigned to a Placement Services Specialist who will work with you until we find you a Cairn to love! It is at that time you have the option to request an available dog by name. The Placement Specialist will be able to give you more information on that dog. Our goal is to get the right dog for your family, but equally the right family for each dog. Please note: Any change in status of the dog on the Available Dogs page prior to you talking to a foster family will mean the dog is being adopted by another family.


Last Update: 7-January-2009
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Cairn Quilt by Barbara Schuster
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