Welcome to Abandoned Terrier Rescue Association           favicon


We are a Southern California 501 (c) (3) non-profit rescue group comprised  entirely of volunteers. We are devoted to the mission of rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of Wire Fox Terriers. Our dogs seek people with lots of terrier savvy –an understanding of the needs of their breed and an understanding of the terrier behavior that may have caused the need for their rescue. We occasionally take in other purebred terriers such as: Welsh Terriers, Lakeland Terriers, and Airedale Terriers who are in need of homes or, we may be able to refer you to another rescue source for them. If you’re looking for a devoted companion and you can offer both a lifetime commitment of love and caring, and the understanding (and enjoyment) of terrier challenges, we are happy to assist you in adopting a dog that will be the best match for you! faviconPlease note that we only adopt within the state of California so that we are able to follow and check on the dogs we place and are immediately available if help is needed.


Mission Statement

TO: Rescue Wire Hair Fox Terriers from any situation where help is needed
TO: Assist with the rescue of other terrier breeds when requested.
TO: Provide any needed veterinary care for all dogs in our rescue
TO: Evaluate the temperament and personality of dogs in our care to assist in determining their best placement.
TO: Screen all applicants to assure the best match for them and to ensure a forever home for our dogs.
TO: Provide ongoing support and education to adopters and potential adopters.


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Featured Wires!


See Molly's rescue story.

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From the hills of Kentucky ( Cooper-now Huxley) to the plains of the Midwest ( Rudy) and now to the deserts of California--Wires, Wires, Wires!

Former adopters Daryl Dean and David Woodard made a dusty drive on desert backroads to a desert community not far from Palm Springs, CA. There they found Teddy waiting for them. No longer wanted for breeding, Teddy was ready to be rehomed. A what a home was waiting just for him!

Daryl and David had lost their beloved Wire, Arlo, adopted from Abandoned Terrier Rescue in 2001. They were devastated at his loss but they knew there would come a time, as Daryl said, "to fill the hole in their hearts" with another Wire who needed a home. That time came not long ago and a miraculous match was made. We had other Wires coming in at that time but Daryl and David were drawn to make the daunting 250 mile round trip journey from Los Angeles to a rather remote area of the desert.

Daryl writes, "We immediately knew he needed us and we needed him. Having grown up so remotely he was afraid of cars, loud noises, other dogs and some people. Slowly he is coming around. From the very beginning we realized he is a very calm fox terrier. He is our third WFT and an amazingly loving, good natured and playful little guy. He's on the small side weighing 15 pounds. He likes to be held closely, but still has the WTF independent streak and will go in the bedroom by himself and sleep on the ottoman at the end of the bed. One of his favorite games is taking the slack of his leash in his mouth and carrying it. We say he doesn't walk, he bounces."

No wonder there is a spring in Teddy's step! Teddy has gone from country boy to city kid. He lives in the lap of luxury as well as on Daryl and David's laps! He loves his visits to Foster's Freeze and shopping at Big Five and lounging wherever he wants.... even right on top of Dad! From the pictures, we'd say Teddy is definitely enjoying city life as well as life with Daryl and David VERY much --no matter where they are!

Will you please join us in thanking Daryl and David for opening their home and hearts once again to a Wire in need and wishing them and Teddy a wonderful life of Wire fun together?!

Wire Fox Terrier adopters are as tough, tenacious, and loyal as the dogs they love.

When the need for a Wire strikes,
they will go on a mission worthy of the United States Postal Service: ..."stayed neither by snow nor rain nor heat nor darkness from accomplishing their appointed course ...."

At the moment, ATRA's Wires are mostly seniors and two needing specialized attention.

Jonathan Taylor and Tom Heidel were missing Cosmo and Aggie adopted from us some years ago. (Aggie had been our reigning longevity queen).

So off they went from California to WFTRM to fetch Rudy in December--just about the time that storms were hitting their routes east and west. No matter! They all arrived safely back in Berkeley, CA.

Handsome Rudy has hit the jackpot of homes and is now basking in the sun and in lots of love. Welcome to California!

Congratulations to Jonathan and Tom! We are so happy you found Rudy and that a needy Wire found such a wonderful home!

It is very rewarding to partner with another great Rescue so that such terrific matches can be made!

Did you see a bright star shining in the sky lit up by the full moon the other night? Instead of a star, it might have been the love of ATRA's latest angel, Robbie, shining through. He took many hearts filled with love for him on his final journey--especially the hearts of Carole and Brian Pearce who adopted him only two short years ago.

Robbie was found on a busy street corner, alone, confused and in need.
Though his coat was matted and dirty, that could not hide his inner beauty and, once groomed, he was as handsome as could be on the outside. But, as if being so heartlessly abandoned was not concerning enough, Robbie, though he made no complaint, was enduring severe pain from glaucoma that had been left untreated. The only way to make him comfortable was to remove the eye.

Robbie was a sturdy fellow and as mellow as could be even when he was in pain. After his dental exam we confirmed that he was a senior and expected that he would stay with us.

But some very special people, the Pearce family, gathered him up to join Rosie, a little puppy mill Wire they had previously adopted from us. Rosie was so frightened and shy because of her sad start in life that she would only come outside to see people for a moment before running away and hiding inside. The Pearces were undaunted and assured us they wanted Rosie and that she would be fine--and she is, of course! They adopted Sam, too, but he moved over after a few years and made room for Robbie. Later, Dinky joined the family. She was the senior found on a doorstep in San Francisco with severe skin issues, deaf and nearly blind. Once again we doubted that we would find a home but once again the compassionate Pearces opened their home and hearts to give little Dinky some love and comfort for her remaining time.

Recently Robbie sadly developed multiple health issues. The Pearces did everything to address each one but then, after learning that the cascading problems were likely from cancer, we learned on Friday that they made the difficult but selfless decision to say goodbye to him.

" .....such a lovely boy, Carole wrote, "and always so eager to please -a true gentle giant."

"I held him in my arms and he passed away very peacefully. Rob was a wonderful dog, sweet and loving and could often be found curled up in bed with little Dinky. Rob will be soo missed and Brian and I are quite devastated - we would have done anything to prolong his life but couldn't find it in our hearts to prolong his agony."

We thank the Pearces for their love and compassion in adopting our neediest Wires. This is a loving tribute to them as well as to Robbie. A special Wire loved by two very special people.