Welcome to Abandoned Terrier Rescue Association           favicon


We are a Southern California 501 (c) (3) non-profit terrier rescue group. We are all volunteers and there is just a handful of us!  We are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of  Wire Fox Terriers. Our dogs seek people with lots of “terrier savvy!”  That means an understanding their special needs and their unique  personalities. It also means understanding the sometimes misunderstood terrier behavior that may have led to their need for rescue.
We occasionally take in other purebred terriers such as: Welsh, Lakeland, and Airedale Terriers or, we may be able to refer you to another terrier rescue source.
Are you looking for a devoted terrier companion?  Can you can offer a lifetime commitment of love and caring?   Do you have the understanding (and enjoyment) of terrier challenges? If so, we are happy to assist you in adopting a terrier that will be the best match for YOU! faviconPlease note: We only adopt within the state of California!  The reason? Our resources are very limited.  We want to ensure we can check on the dogs we place. It is important to us to be immediately available if they need our help.


Mission Statement

TO: Rescue Wire Hair Fox Terriers where our help is needed.
TO: Assist with the rescue of other terrier breeds when requested.
TO: Provide any needed veterinary care for all dogs we rescue.
TO: Evaluate the temperament and personality of dogs.
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 Adoptables!


See Molly's rescue story.

Facebook Updates

Three terriers take off to their new homes! Two Wires and a Lakie are settling in just fine...

Not every terrier needing placement comes into Rescue. Some owners are faced with the difficult decision of having to give up their beloved friend but are able to keep them with them as we find matches for them from our pool of applicants.

That is why, if you are looking to adopt in our area, it is good to have an application on file! We often make matches before a terrier reaches our website!

We are happy to help with these "assisted placements" and understand that the heart-wrenching but selfless decision to rehome nevertheless means happiness for another terrier lover.

Molly, Remy and Ziggy are three terrific terriers who are thriving in their new homes with joyful new owners.

Please send good wishes to all!

She was left on a doorstep; a petite senior Wire who was deaf and nearly blind. Her sight may have been saved, and her hearing, too, if cared for in time, but instead, her eyes had become very painful and she could no longer hear. She was matted and her skin was painful too--allergies and neglect had taken a toll. She was left to an unknown fate....

And now, not quite two years later, she has left us --that little, brave, determined Wire had to move on. But she left knowing pain free, comfortable days filled with love, thanks to Carole and Brian Pearce.

On Friday, Carole tearfully wrote that "Dinky" (as they named this tiniest of their adopted Wires) had said good-bye.

"Dinky was the dearest
little girl, " Carol wrote, "and will be soooo missed!! Although she was a part of our family for a short time we feel very blessed to have known and loved her."

Just last month, Carole wrote to tell us that Dinky had been diagnosed with cancer.

Such a tiny Wire, here for only a short time, and yet she leaves an enduring legacy.

Hers is a story that illustrates that dedication and teamwork can make a difference between life and death; that every Wire, no matter how old or in what condition, is worth rescuing and that a Wire with the most challenges can be the most rewarding of rescues.

Dinky was 400 miles away in the San Francisco shelter when Cherie Compartore alerted us to her. Nicole Rubin was an applicant who traveled to San Francisco to meet Dinky and who helped arrange her release to us. Donna McCusker stepped up to foster as long as possible. And then, when additional foster time was needed until transport could be arranged, Carole and Brian said yes....and kept saying yes....they took care of her skin and eyes with the best of veterinary care and their devotion and, despite Dinky's loud, howling protests, made sure she was always impeccably groomed and looking her best.

Dinky loved to sunbathe and rule the roost from the best bed in the house. A mighty mite she was! She had a hearty appetite and loved her meals. She did allow her Wire siblings, Rosie and Robbie, to get a little attention, too, though. Sadly Carole and Brian lost Robbie, another senior adoptee in January.

The Pearces are rare and priceless for their devotion to the adopted Wires whose time with them has been much too short. There are very few people who are so selfless.

Our thanks to everyone who helped Dinky.
Our special thanks to the Pearces and to Cherie also, for not only alerting us to Dinky, but for sponsoring her monthly to help with her veterinary costs.

Move over, ATRA Angels --a little powerhouse is coming to join you! She may be named "Dinky," but don't underestimate her influence!

She had the fight and the power to overcome her abandonment and many challenges and on that journey, to inspire us all. Despite all she had been through, she still trusted and loved .

And, we're betting she will have the loudest voice in the ATRA Angel chorus.

Good-bye, little one! We hold on to your spirit as you leave us behind. Now you ascend a stairway to your very own heavenly home.

Dig this! Last week brought you ATRA alum, Danny, planting his face.

Today ATRA's resident renegade and archeologist, Milou, would like to show you his talents both under and above the ground at the Rescue.

Milou is a "third striker" in the bite department so this liability means that the Rescue is his forever home. As you will see, it's not a bad life--he gets to dig with impunity and even watch TV --usually sitting on someone's lap; then he gets to retire in Tom's man cave! And the meals are good too!

Milou's digs and jumps are most impressive and he denies any are for the purpose of escape. He's a clever lad and knows he is understood, appreciated and loved right where he is!