If the dog is located in a shelter, the first step is to determine that the dog is a purebred Airedale Terrier. Shelters and the public frequently misidentify Airedale Terriers. For some reason, they are often confused with Wirehaired Fox Terriers. The best way to determine whether the dog is a purebred Airedale Terrier is through a personal visit. This way, an initial temperament evaluation can be made and, if the legal hold period is over, the dog can be removed from the shelter. If there is no Rescue Volunteer near the shelter, volunteers should contact the Rescue Chair who will attempt to find an ATCA member close to the shelter who is willing to assist in identifying the dog and getting the dog to safety. Please have as much information as possible about the location of the shelter, the contact information at the shelter, the identification information for the dog and what assistance you would be able to provide.

rehomed Airedale rehomed Airedale

It is Rescue Committee policy to comply with the law in all matters. With regard to returning dogs to their legal owners, volunteers shall make a concerted effort to locate the legal owner of a dog that comes into their care. Microchipping, tattooing, or some other form of permanent identification can make the job of locating the dog's legal owner much more efficient. Attempts will be made to locate the owner for a reasonable period of time. In the event the owner is not located, all dogs will be neutered or spayed prior to being placed for adoption.

The only time there would be a question of returning a dog to its legal owner or breeder would be if abuse or neglect is suspected. In cases where abuse or neglect is suspected, the authorities will be contacted and it may become necessary to take legal action to ensure the dog's safety and welfare. The mere fact that the dog is a stray shall not be the sole basis to suspect abuse or neglect.

Steps to be Taken to Locate Legal Owner

  • The dog is to be taken to a veterinarian for a health evaluation as soon as possible after intake and should be scanned for a microchip and searched for a tattoo.
  • Bathe and clip the dog as soon as possible and again check for a tattoo (tattoos are not visible under hair).
  • If you find a tattoo or microchip, check with
    • Home Again (1-866-738-4324),
    • AKC Companion Animal Recovery (1-800-252-7894),
    • Avid (1-800-336-2843)
    • 24PetWatch (1-866-957-2424)
    • Tattoo-a-Pet (1-800-TATTOOS), NY (718)646-8200),
    • National Dog Registry (800 NDR-DOGS),
    • I. D. Pet (1-800-243-9147, CT 203-327-3157), and
    • Canadian Kennel Club (416-675-5511) Breeder/Owner section as many Canadian-born dogs are in the U.S.
  • Notify all the local veterinarians, shelters, and humane societies in the area to see if an Airedale Terrier has been reported lost.
  • Notify any ATCA breeders in the area.
  • If the Airedale Terrier was not obtained from a shelter, be sure to file a FOUND report and note the name of the person who took the report.
  • Call your local newspaper and run a FOUND ad. (Most papers will run a found ad at no charge.) Keep a copy of the entire page of the newspaper containing the ad, so you have proof of publication and the dates it was published.
  • Post the description of the dog, location where found, and a photo of the rescue dog, if available, to the ATCA Rescue & Adoption Committee website lost and found section.
  • Post a notice to Airedale e-mail lists in order to try to find someone who might recognize the dog.
  • Take a picture of the dog and make up a one-page flier, posting it heavily in the area in which the dog was found. Drop a copy of the flier off to all the veterinarians in the area where the dog was found.
  • Ask your animal control officer what steps you must take to fulfill the legal requirements for stray dogs in your township.
  • Rescues cannot place a stray until the required legal hold time has been fulfilled either with the finder or the shelter - as the rescue would then not have legal ownership of the dog. It is our responsibility to make sure that the owners have the proper time to claim their animal, if in fact they are diligently looking for it.


Adopted 10/21/2003

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Airedale Information

Each year several hundred Airedales find their way into rescue and begin new lives.  Because of the generous support of donors like you, National Airedale Rescue, Inc. is able to assist with the financial needs of Airedale rescue organizations throughout the United States and Canada each year so these great dogs continue to find loving homes.  We appreciate your donations!

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