The Southwest Airedale Terrier Rescue volunteers endeavor to ensure that each Airedale in their care is placed in the appropriate caring, stable and lifelong home. The Airedales we rescue do not have the ability to choose their new owners. It is up to us to act in their best interest. Every Airedale needs a home, but not every home needs an Airedale!

Adoptions are not done on a “first-come, first-serve” basis. Our goal is to make the best match between the Airedale and the potential homes. If a potential adopter is not chosen for a particular Airedale, that is not a judgment on their ability to provide a good home for a dog. It just means that home was not the best match for that particular Airedale.

The volunteers of SWAT assist each adopter with the selection of an Airedale suitable to their lifestyle.

The procedure begins with the completion by the potential adopter of our detailed pre-adoption questionnaire.

Potential adopters must demonstrate they are able and willing to provide for the needs of their adopted Airedale for his or her lifetime.

Criteria for Adoption

Potential Adopters

  • Potential adopters must be at least 25 years of age.
  • Potential adopters must provide veterinary references for current and previous pets, including telephone numbers.
  • Potential adopters must have an established residence and agree to a home visit.

Companion Animals

SWAT Airedales are adopted as family members and companions only, not as outside animals or guard dogs.


All SWAT Airedales available for adoption have been spayed or neutered for the health and well-being of the animal and to make a positive impact on the pet population problem.


SWAT volunteers provide their Airedales with permanent identification in the form of microchips so that the Airedales can be identified if lost or stolen. The adopter must ensure that the adopted Airedale is wearing a collar and identification tag with CURRENT telephone numbers at all times.

Pets as Gifts

SWAT volunteers do not place Airedales as gifts. The person who will be primarily responsible for the Airedale must begin the adoption process and all members of the household must agree to the adoption.


    • If there are children under 10 in the household, you must have  a fenced in yard. Airedales are big, active, mouthy dogs and can
      unintentionally hurt small children. A fenced in yard allows a “time-out” space for a dog that needs to run and play to burn off excess energy. Children also tend to forget to close doors and a fence WITH LOCKED GATES is some protection against the dog escaping.
    • SWAT volunteers do not support or condone leaving dogs outside unsupervised for extended periods of time. Our Airedales must be members of the family. Airedales left too long alone in a fenced yard become bored and get into trouble. Many Airedales have ended up in rescue because they dug or climbed out of a fenced yard, or because their bored and lonely barking caused complaints from the neighbors.
    • Because most of our Airedales are high energy and have high prey drive, we recommend physical fencing (not electric fencing) for the safety of the dog.  “Real” fencing with locked gates helps to protect your Airedale from running away (pulling out of their collar or “blowing through” electric fence) and becoming injured or killed by a car. “Real” fencing with locked gates also protects your Airedale from other dogs, skunks, coyotes, foxes, and thieves entering your property and posing a threat to your Airedale. If you are interested in an older Airedale, fencing requirements are determined on a case by case basis. If you have had previous success raising an Airedale with an electric fence, include that information in your questionnaire.
    • We are aware there are Airedale owners who have had success with electric fencing. They advise:
    1. Install a quality fence that includes professional training.
    2. Frequently check the collar batteries and electrical  connections to make sure they are working properly.
      Install a battery backup in case of power outage.
    3. Never leave your Airedale outside alone.


Most SWAT Airedales have been crate trained in their foster homes. In a strange new home, their crate is familiar and safe. Adopters of some SWAT Airedales must have a crate, suitable for the size of the dog, in place when they adopt the Airedale. The crate will keep your adopted Airedale and your household safe during the first few weeks of adjustment. We strongly recommend using the crate whenever the adopter is absent from the home, gradually extending the time the Airedale is allowed unsupervised freedom.

After the initial adjustment period, a dog crate is not recommended for a dog that will routinely be left alone all day. If long term crating is to be attempted, the dog must be well exercised both before and after crating, the dog will also need lots of personal attention, and should be allowed freedom at night (sleeping near his owner). It is also critical that the crate be large enough to enable the dog to fully stretch out, stand up, and turn around easily. The crate must have a clip-on water dish. Ideally, you should arrange to have someone provide an exercise and attention period during the day. To be a well adjusted family member an Airedale needs human contact. Whether crated or not, your Airedale needs play time, training time, and a time to simply “hang” in the company of his pack (that’s you).


We will not place any Airedale in a home with very young children. We have no way of knowing whether there might be something in the Airedale’s past history which would cause the Airedale to snap at a child over something as simple as tripping and falling near the Airedale, or trying to take a toy out of its mouth.

If an Airedale is surrendered by his/her owner, grew up around children, is reported to be good with children and has been tested as tolerant with children, if your children are over the age of seven AND if you are committed to supervising your children at all times, we will consider placing an Airedale with you.

The Airedale must be of suitable size, energy level and temperament for the age/size of your children. We usually have a long waiting list for Airedales that are good with children. We don’t want to discourage you, but it could be a long time before you are matched with a suitable Airedale.

Landlords and Homeowners Associations

No Airedale will be placed where pets are not allowed. Before the time of adoption, potential adopters who rent are required to provide written proof from the landlord that pets are permitted in the residence (e.g. lease, written permission on letterhead signed by the landlord). Owners of townhouses/condominiums must provide contact information for the management company or an officer of the Board to determine that pets are allowed and/or there are no complaints on file regarding current pets.

Consent of Household Members

All adult household members, related or unrelated, including boarders or renters, must be informed and must consent to the adoption of the Airedale. All household members, adult and children, must be present during the home visit.

Other Pets at Home

All animals owned by the potential adopter must be up-to-date on vaccinations appropriate to the age of the dog before the person may adopt another pet. With very few exceptions, all other pets in the home must be neutered or spayed.

Adoption Agreement

You will be asked to sign an adoption contract, agreeing to comply with certain standards of care for the Airedale. If for whatever reason you encounter problems with your new pet that cannot be solved, you are required to return the dog to the Airedale Rescue coordinator who placed the Airedale with you and not transfer ownership to a third party without the specific authorization of the rescue coordinator.

Adoption Fee

If a SWAT volunteer places a dog with you, you will be asked to make a contribution to help with our expenses.  Our adoption fees are based on the age, health and temperament of the dog and can range from $100 – $500.

Do you wonder why we would charge a fee for a rescue pet? Why not just place it in a good home?  The answer is because we cannot continue to rescue Airedales unless we have help. A young, healthy dog might cost us $150-400 in vet care, and many people will want to adopt it. An older one with health issues can easily cost $500-1500 or more in veterinary expenses, and it may require months of foster care for rehabilitation; yet we can only ask a minimal adoption fee, and it may be a long time until anyone comes forward to adopt it. Fees from the younger, more adoptable dogs help offset the cost of caring for the others. Most of our dogs have a sad story to tell, and some have suffered through years of neglect or abuse. We hope that you too are willing to give an opportunity for a better life to ALL of our dogs by supporting them through adoption fees. Without these funds, our rescue efforts would not be possible.

Medical Conditions

All SWAT Airedales are adopted on an “as is” basis. Any condition requiring veterinary attention is treated before the Airedale is placed. We will do our best to make the adopter aware of any known medical conditions. Once adopted, all medical costs (including necessary dental care, appropriate vaccinations and rabies shots) are the responsibility of the adopter. Please be aware that SWAT cannot guarantee the future health or behavior of any adopted Airedale.

Depending on the availability of funds, the National Airedale Rescue seniors fund may be able to assist with any extraordinary medical care required for an Airedale adopted at age ten or older. Adopters of senior Airedales are expected to pay for ordinary veterinary care.


In order to ensure your relationship with your SWAT Airedale is a successful one,  an adopter can expect follow-up phone calls or emails from the SWAT volunteer within 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months and 1 year after adoption. These contacts are not meant to interfere or disrupt the new “family,” but to offer support to ensure the transition with the new pet is a smooth one.

Please feel free to contact your Airedale Rescue coordinator at any time, for any reason. We will do our best to help you with any questions or problems. We love to get updates and photographs.

Adherence to Local Laws and Ordinances

Potential adopters must be familiar with the legal requirements of their locale and must be prepared to abide by these laws and ordinances.

Final Approval of Adoptions

Final approval of an adoption is at the sole discretion of the Airedale Rescue Coordinator responsible for a particular Airedale. Decisions are made after consultation with other volunteers and the foster home and is based primarily on the well being of the adopted Airedale and suitability of the adopter. We ask that all potential adopters respect the coordinator’s decision.