Stella - WestieMed Grant Recipient Sept. 2019


Stella’s story starts in early February 2019 when her owners surrendered her to their vet. Stella who was known as Lulu at the time was in pretty rough shape. She was admitted to an Animal Hospital on February 5, 2019, suffering from severe allergies that caused hair loss and also damaged her skin, ear infections, she weighed twelve pounds and overall was just looking for some TLC. While at the hospital Stella started receiving the care she needed-medicated baths, prescription diet food, ear care, eye cleansing, her skin started to heal, grew some hair back all the while she stayed a loving playful Westie.

On February 20th Stella was released into the care of Garden State Westie Rescue and Lisa Curry who continued Stella’s treatment. While scrolling through Westie sites on Facebook I came across a post from Garden State Westie Rescue stating Stella’s condition and that she was gentle and loving with people and other animals and she was up for adoption. My wife and I talked it over, we contacted the rescue and on March 25, 2019 we became the new parents to Stella.

One of the first things we did was take her to our vet for a thorough checkup. We had her microchipped and had a blood test to determine what allergies she has and how to go about treating them. Since our first checkup, Stella has had numerous visits to the vet to control her itching and ear infections. Cytopoint seems to work along with her medicated baths but she has a long road ahead of her. The ear infections will also be part of her life due to her allergies. In the six months we have had her Stella is now at a more healthy weight of eighteen pounds, is a hearty eater and a playful, cuddling, loving puppy.

She has brought some life to our thirteen soon-to-be fourteen-year-old Westie girl Bailey with her antics. Stella is just a treasure to be part of our family. We want to thank WestieMed for their generous financial help. We can hopefully get Stella’s allergies under control.

Sincerely yours,
Bernie and Barbara Dougherty

Isabel - WestieMed Grant Recipient May 2017


Our friend and companion Nigel, a male Westie, died 5/28/16 after a year-long illness.  We got him as an eight week old and we were together at home, showroom, and visits to family and friends.  He had a big outgoing personality, noisy and friendly to just about everyone except other small non-Westies.  I really loved the guy and mourned his passing.

I never thought I would find and accept another Westie until I saw an ad in Pet Finder and saw a picture and description of Izzy also stating what type of home Garden State Westie Rescue was seeking for her. She rang all the right bells for me, and after speaking to Lisa Curry of Garden State, we both agreed that this would be a good fit for all. We adopted her mid-January 2017 and spent the next three weeks learning about each other. We found her a charming, polite, somewhat stubborn dog who really wanted to be part of our lives. We did note that she never finished any of her meals and wanted to go out every few hours. She also became somewhat lethargic after three weeks with us and began to vomit frequently, symptoms not observed by the rescue or her prior home. 

We took Isabel to a veterinary hospital, who over the course of two weeks gave her infusions for her dehydration, took blood samples and diagnosed Addison’s disease and we were given appropriate meds and a diet change to a medical soft diet.

All went well, she stopped vomiting, began to eat and appeared to be recovering.  She wasn’t.  Over the next three weeks, Izzy started to have the same complications as before but this time more severe. A visit to a different emergency hospital, some fluids, blood tests, and ultrasound indicated that Isabel had Cushing’s disease.  This hospital has many specialists and we made an appointment the next day to see Dr. Ward, a Gastro specialist.  We left Izzy overnight to be infused again for dehydration and receive an endoscope for a better look at her digestive system. The final diagnosis was Irritable Bowel Disease, which is treatable with a daily dose of Budesonide, Pepcid and a diet of boiled chicken and rice. I was taught to give her daily infusions until she began to drink again. 

Izzy is a month free of symptoms, has her med and Pepcid every day and really enjoys chicken and rice. I want to thank Lisa Curry for her referral to WestieMed, Dr. Ward of North Star Veterinary Hospital for the diagnosis and recipe for Izzy’s recovery, and Lucy Ryley of WestieMed for her help in recovering a large portion of Izzy’s medical bills.  I’m glad to tell Isabel’s story because it has a happy ending. As seniors ourselves we look forward to whatever years Izzy, Lois and I have to be together.

Mitchell and Lois Cohen
Mount Laurel NJ

Rosie - WesiteMed Grant Recipient June 2015


Rosie came to us as a surrender in very poor condition, with significant hair loss over her back half and under her neck. The hair that she still had was very long and stained; she had black skin from a long-term skin disorder, and she was covered with flea dirt. She was also vomiting up everything. The owner realized she was critical but had no means to care for her. When I got her to my vet he realized she was in acute renal failure. She spent six days in ICU, and he managed to save her life. It turned out that the renal failure had been brought on largely by a lifetime of mis-medication (too much prednisone).

Rosie’s recovery was remarkable. After about six weeks of treatment, her blood levels showed that her kidneys were almost self-sufficient. She is on a strict diet of prescription food for kidney patients, and she still needs sub-Q fluids – but only every few days. She will need to be checked every few months, but with proper care and a good diet we hope for even more improvement. She can’t ever be spayed because the anesthesia would damage her kidneys. Despite her history, she is now expected to live almost a normal life. She is a very sweet dog, housebroken, and loves people and animals.

Through some miracle, an elderly couple came to us recently wanting an older westie. They didn’t care about medical issues or costs. They came to meet Rosie, and were enchanted with her and took her home. The love between the couple and Rosie was obvious – she loved them as much as they loved her. We did not charge them an adoption fee, due to the extraordinary costs they are taking on, which will be at a minimum, $150 – $200 monthly.

The generosity of WestieMed enables small rescue groups like Garden State Westie Rescue to do what we do. If we were not sure that WestieMed would help us out with extraordinary cases like this, we would not be able to take in these dogs, and deserving dogs like Rosie would die too young. Rosie’s story is just one more example of how one special westie was given a second chance at life thanks to the good folks at WestieMed.

Lisa Curry
Garden State Westie Rescue

Update January 14, 2016

Rosie is now named Piper. She gets her fluids every other day at the vet and she is on Benedryl (for summer itching, allergies), Prilosec, gabepentin, aluminum hydroxide, kelp help supplement powder, organic (no salt – just peanuts) peanut butter, organic plain yogurt and chunky applesauce (just apples). 

She weighs 15.6 pounds and is doing very well.  The pain medication has helped immensely toward a happy attitude especially with some of the hindquarter and tail pain she experiences.    

She is still on the dry Purina NF food and tolerates a  1/4 cup for breakfast and a 1/4 cup at dinner with some of each of the “people” foods listed above. Figured out how much to give her and it helps with not having episodes of spit-up. Our vet group is the best and they watch her closely.  Blood work is done on occasion to help with giving her the best medical care as well.   The hair on her back (though thin) has grown in nicely! She has come a long way, naps contentedly and loves walks in the back!  She is very loving as well.

Whitney - WestieMed Grant Recipient April 2013


The day before Easter, a shelter in southern-most New Jersey notified me that they had a Westie and wanted me to take him. I said yes, of course, and I got Whitey on Easter Sunday. The shelter told me that another Westie Rescue group had declined to help Whitey before they called me, so I was his last chance.

Whitey had a retained diseased testicle which was the source of most of his troubles. That testicle was grossly enlarged and resulted in a lump the size of an orange hanging off his belly in the groin area. His skin was covered with deep dime-sized open, oozing sores all over his body, legs, tail, and head. This was a result of the hormones from the abnormal testicle, and a staph infection had also taken over his poor body and his skin. He also seemed to feel sick and was lethargic and not eating well, he had a Malassezia condition, and a great deal of flaking and dry matter was coming off his skin. In addition, his dry eye had not been treated and his eyes were infected, and his sight is almost entirely gone (it seems like perhaps he can see shadows out of one eye). He had an infected ear as well, and his teeth were in bad shape; many were so rotten they would break off when gently touched. My veterinarian performed emergency surgery the day after Easter, removing the diseased testicle and the rotten teeth; the vet cleaned his remaining teeth, not for cosmetic purposes, but in hopes that this could spare him a need for future dental work.

Whitey remains on antibiotics and anti-yeast medication. His prognosis is excellent: his skin and his spirit are healing well. He is a friendly boy who likes people and other dogs; he also likes to go for (short) walks and is not intimidated by the fact that he cannot see. He is also housebroken. I hope to find him a home with a loving owner who will continue his health care regimen and give him a good long life.

Lisa Curry
Garden State Westie Rescue

Update October 15, 2013

Whitey is doing well. He’s over his infections and he looks and feels better in all regards. He was adopted to a very loving home close to where I live so I get to see him sometimes.

Lisa Curry

Mason - WestieMed Recipient October 2010


I am an independent rescuer through the WHWTCA.  Blind diabetic Mason fell into my lap one day in late September 2010.  He was abandoned at a county shelter in southern New Jersey, with no information about his history. The shelter easily adopted him out since he is so sweet, only about six years old, cute, and housebroken, to boot.  But when he collapsed a few days later, the new owner returned him.  At that point, a kindly shelter worker, at his own expense, took Mason to a local veterinarian who diagnosed Mason with diabetes. That was when the shelter asked me to take him into rescue, knowing how difficult it was to adopt out a dog with diabetes.

Mason’s insulin dosage has taken some work to figure out and unfortunately, even with a “rescue discount” his expenses have mounted quickly. This was particularly true the first week when the vets and I were still working out what his proper insulin amount was, and Mason suffered one serious “crash” in that time.  Thankfully, diabetes now seems to be stabilized with a modest dose of insulin, and his blood glucose is monitored daily to avoid further unexpected problems in that regard. 

But Mason’s medical issues don’t stop there.  He still needs some major medical work, including extensive dental extractions, investigation of whether his sight can be restored, and further examination of some of his other symptoms.  But without all the initial work to get his diabetes under control, these future issues would be out of the question financially, and Mason might not even be with us today.  I am hugely grateful to WestieMed for stepping in with a generous and badly needed financial contribution to Mason’s bills, which allows me to continue caring for him.  He is worth it.  He is a sweet, friendly, well-mannered fellow who doesn’t mind his insulin shots and doesn’t seem at all bothered by not being able to see where he is going. In fact, his favorite pastime is to fling his squeaky-toys up in the air – and then search for them!  While he does that, I continue my search for his forever home: I know there is someone out there who will be able to accept and love this sweet little boy despite his medical challenges.

With heartfelt thanks, I am
Sincerely yours,

Lisa Curry
Garden State Westie Rescue