Peyton - WestieMed Recipient


Peyton and his Westie brother Cooper came into the Preston Cares Network Westie Rescue (PCN) in the summer of 2019.  Their previous owner didn’t have time for them, and left them outside in their backyard all-day, every day, while they went to work.  Being typical westies, they got bored and decided it would be fun to dig under the fence and escape.  The brothers were repeatedly picked up by animal control and the fines to pick them up began to increase.  As a result, the owner decided to surrender the dogs instead of paying the fines. 

Fortunately, the animal control reached out to PCN to take them in.  They needed to be fixed, have dental extractions done, and Peyton needed treatment for chronic dry eyes.  Of course we said we would love to take the brothers into our rescue, and we had all their medical needs taken care of and both brothers were adopted together in December of 2019.  

Unfortunately, after a few months Peyton was losing weight, wasn’t feeling well in general, and just wasn’t happy in his new home. They took him to their local vet who did a Cushing’s disease test which came back negative (among many other tests).  They decided they could not take care of him and they couldn’t afford the mounting medical bills trying to determine what was wrong.  So, with a heavy heart, they decided to return him to PCN in June of 2020.  Once he came back to us, his health continued to degrade and he became lethargic, rapidly lost weight, had very loose stool, and his hair was falling out. Even though Peyton had tested negative for Cushing’s, our vet decided to test him for atypical Cushing’s since he showed all the signs. The test results came back slightly positive.  After starting the treatment protocol, Peyton showed positive results at first, but then he started to lose weight more rapidly and was getting sicker and sicker.  He got to the point where he refused to eat and drink. 

We rushed him to the vet for emergency care and our vet did an EPI test which came back positive. Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency (EPI) is a syndrome caused by insufficient synthesis and secretion of digestive enzymes in the pancreas. Fortunately, EPI is very treatable. There is special powder (enzymes) you mix into the dog’s food before they eat it which help them digest the food and absorb the nutrients.  

Peyton - WestieMed Recipient
Peyton – WestieMed Recipient

Peyton responded very well and his stool is now back to normal and he has gained all his weight back and then some. One interesting development is that his dry eye problem has resolved on its own, so he no longer needs daily drops in his eyes. Now that he is much healthier, we will soon be retesting him for Cushing’s to see if it still comes back positive. If we can rule out Cushing’s he has a much better chance of being adopted. 

Thank you WestieMed for the grant to help with Peyton’s vet care, the testing for EPI and Cushing’s, and the prescription enzymes so he can digest his food.  This grant will allow him to be adopted and live a happy life in a new adoptive home.  Peyton says woof (thanks so much as well!).

Preston Cares Network

Molly - WestieMed Grant Recipient February 2018


Last year we lost our precious Westie girl, Lexie. She was ten when we adopted her. It’s because of Lexie we fell in love with senior Westies.

Shortly after Lexie’s passing, we contacted Rachel Phelps with Preston Cares Network inquiring about another Westie.  Rachel informed us that she had a ten-year-old female Westie named Molly who had been surrendered by a breeder from Kentucky.  Rachel was very upfront with us about Molly having some health issues.  Molly was heartworm positive when she was surrendered and had just completed heartworm treatment.  The treatment was very rough on her.  Poor Molly also had a very large Inguinal Hernia that needed to be repaired and the poor girl still needed to be spayed.

The lady who surrendered Molly said she only bred her a couple of times, however, I find that hard to believe considering the size of the hernia. I also believe Molly spent many hours, days, weeks locked in a wire kennel.  Her teeth are worn down to the gum line, more than likely from trying to chew her way out.

I truly believe Molly had a terrible life in her first nine years.  Molly is the sweetest dog.  She loves to cuddle, go on car rides and go for walks.  She has a few health issues and has made many trips to the Veterinarian and to a specialty hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

We made a promise to Molly that we will take care of her and make her last years of life amazing.  Molly now has a mom and dad, an eleven-year-old human brother, Aiden who adores her.  Along with a fourteen-year-old Westie brother Bernie, a thirteen-year-old Westie sister Heidi.  Molly is also loved and protected by two more brothers, three-legged six-year-old Australian Shepherd mix Snickers and eight-month-old Great Pyrenees named Sammie (Molly actually keeps him inline).

We all love Molly so much and will always give her what she needs and deserves.

Thank you WestieMed and the Kandy Merric Memorial Fund for helping make it easier to provide Molly with the best medical care possible.

Jamie Robb

Callie - WestieMedGrant Recipient July 2017


Miss Callie is a very special six to eight-year-old West Highland White Terrier that found as a stray by the City of Columbus Animal Control.  She had a microchip, but the owner never registered it so when she had what they thought was a seizure in her cage they reached out to us at the Preston Cares Network Westie Rescue to pull her for $10 to get medical care as soon as her stray hold was complete.  

When our vet looked at Callie, they quickly realized that there was something wrong with her heart and that her heartbeat was very irregular.   It was beating very very slow; forty beats a minute.  More tests were performed including an X-ray and an EKG. Those tests revealed she has Sick Sinus Syndrome.  This syndrome is a condition in which the Sinus (the heart’s natural pacemaker) does not send regular signals to the heart to pump correctly.  What animal control had thought was a seizure was Miss Callie passing out and coming too.  Our vet consulted a specialist in Louisville, and after reviewing the test results, it was determined that she needs a pacemaker and as soon as possible.  Our vet reached out to several teaching vet hospitals and collected quotes for the surgery.  The closest and cheapest (and recommended) is Purdue University.  In addition to the financial assistance we received from WestieMed, we also plan to fundraise through Facebook and our email list (as soon as the 4th is over) because we are expecting costs from $3,500 to $4,000.  The total costs will also include the three days in ICU for recovering and adjusting the pacemaker, the testing that was already done, and the follow up care and trips to Purdue. Just through very limited word of mouth we have raised 150 dollars. 

Miss Callie is one of the sweetest and kindest Westies we have ever had in our rescue.  She wants to be around people and be held and wants to cuddle.  She loves to sleep on pillows and gets along with the fosters Westies and cats.  She knows several commands such as sit and stay, and leave it (well for a few seconds — she is a Westie after all) and is fully house trained.  The vet said with this pacemaker she should completely recover and should have no more issues with the Sick Sinus Syndrome as long as the pacemaker is maintained each year.  We hope to get Miss Callie this surgery so she can have a nice long life sleeping on someone couch enjoying the pet life.

Rachel Phelps
Preston Cares Network Westie Rescue

Update January 24, 2018

Callie - WestieMedGrant Recipient July 2017

Thanks to the very generous grant from WestieMed, Callie was able to have her pacemaker surgery at the University of Illinois (IU).  Just recently, she had her six-month checkup, and the vets were happy to find that the pacemaker is working really well.  They have even cleared her to have her dental soon.  Also, her heart looks stable and hasn’t shown any signs of enlarging or more damage.  She will always need extra care and checkups with her specialists, but the pacemaker has given her a great quality of life back. She now loves to play, go on walks, and even nap on her new family’s bed.

During the trips back and forth to IU, she met her future mom which is a 2nd-year vet student at the university.  It was a perfect match!  Callie is able to live close to her heart specialists and she has a mom and dad who is very knowledgeable about her condition!  She even has a Westie brother to play with!

Callie has accepted a “dog job” with the IU vet school.  She attends community events representing the cardiac program and she is a teaching assistant for the dental department for first-year students to practice doing dental exams. The students are learning so much from Callie!  This shows how this WestieMed grant is helping more than just this one dog but is helping train future veterinarians about health conditions.

Preston Cares Network

Barkley - WestieMed Grant Recipient May 2016


I don’t know a lot of history for my Westie but what I do know is sad.

My buddy Barkley was found in Kentucky where he was left tied to a picnic table. When he was taken to a shelter they found that he had been chipped in New York but the chip was never registered. We have no idea how the little fellow got from New York to Kentucky.

When they found him he was not in good shape, coughing and laboring to breathe. The vet said he had an enlarged heart causing breathing problems. He was very lucky that the Westie Rescue of Indiana found him and gave him a wonderful foster mom to care for him and nurse him back to health.

That all happened months before I found Barkley. I had been looking for a Westie to join our family and I knew I wanted a rescue dog. When I contacted Westie Rescue they told me they had a dog with some special needs that had not been adopted. I thought, we all have special needs of some sort so this must be the little guy for us.

We adopted Barkley. He has been such a joy. He doesn’t always feel well and sometimes he can’t play as much as he would like but he is always in a good mood and ready to snuggle up. He is so affectionate and easy-going.

His medical problems are a good bit worse than I originally thought but I am still so glad we got him. He is part of our family and loved by all. Barkley loves to dig holes in the yard to bury his “treasures” and loves to get into the trash. He gets so excited over a new squeaky toy and is always ready for a car ride or to hang out at our kids’ baseball games. Like most Westies (and possibly most Westie owners) he can be a bit stubborn which only makes him more endearing.

My Vet did not give us a good prognosis when she examined Barkley and discovered the extent of his Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. With WestieMed’s help, Barkley was evaluated by a cardiologist and had several diagnostic tests to determine the proper treatment and medication. We are very grateful for the opportunity to get Barkley the medical care he needs.

After doing some research, she discovered that there is a fairly new treatment that might be just what Barkley needs to give many more years to enjoy all the things he loves to do (even getting into the trash) and many more years for my family to enjoy him.


Update January 9, 2018

Sadly, WestieMed received word that Barkley is now at Rainbow Bridge.

Rupp - WestieMed Grant Recipient - January 2016


We recently received a call from a local vet about a Westie in urgent need named Rupp.  He is five years old with severe skin allergies and his owners dropped him off to be euthanized.  The vet knew that with the proper medical care, right home, and time, he could recover.  Unfortunately, his family felt that they didn’t have the time, resources, and energy to care for him any longer and wanted him euthanized that day.  Instead, the wonderful vet convinced them to surrender Rupp to the clinic to give him a chance.  The vet called our rescue group and asked if we could take him in.

We didn’t even pause and said what time can we pick him up?  When our volunteer arrived she said Rupp had the worst case of skin allergies she had ever seen.  He was covered head to toe with open sores, oozing wounds, scabs, flaky itchy skin, and extensive hair loss.  He was immediately put on antibiotics, anti-fungal meds, pain medication, and medicated baths daily.  Even though his skin was really bad, the worst part of his condition was you could look into his eyes and see he had given up on life.  He was in a lot of discomfort and felt defeated.  He just wanted to be left alone to lay in his bed and had no interest in eating (and what Westie doesn’t want to eat).  

We knew that besides healing him physically, we needed to help restore his Westie spirit.  After a few weeks, his skin improved and his wounds were healing.  Best of all, he started to perk up, bond with his foster family and started to play with their Westies.   Toys started to interest him again and he even destroyed his first plush toy in true Westie fashion.  Despite all his progress, his itching was not improving.  The vet determined that we could continue to treat his flare-ups with medication, but his best chance of complete and full recovery was to see a dog dermatologist and start allergy treatments.  

Allergy treatments can work miracles, but they are expensive and cost more than we can afford, especially as a new rescue.  Fortunately, WestieMed has stepped-in to cover his allergy testing and treatment so Rupp can have a long, healthy, and happy life.  

We are so extremely thankful to WestieMed for being Rupp’s guardian angel and providing the funding for medical treatment he so desperately needs to he can recover and find his new forever home.  Thank you again so much!   

Preston Cares Network/Kentucky Westie Volunteers

Update December 23, 2016

Rupp - WestieMed Grant Recipient - January 2016
Rupp – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Thanks to WestieMed, Rupp was able to receive allergy testing, allergy shots, and daily medication to help control his severe allergies.   It was a long road for him to recover and for his hair to regrow.

We had many setbacks with flair ups and more medical treatment, so he stayed in his foster home for ten months total.

However, after a lot of searching, we found the perfect home for him in Louisville Kentucky. It seemed like it was meant to be since new mom Megan is a pharmacist and is very knowledgeable and comfortable giving allergy shots, medication, and lives only a few minutes from his vet dermatologist!  

He now also has a new Westie sister named Lexi who has shown him the ropes including where the squirrels like to hang out in the back yard.  

Without WestieMed Rupp would not be starting his new life.  Thank you so much for helping these little white dogs!

Daisy - WestieMed Grant Recipient December 2013


Daisy was a tiny ten-month-old Westie who was in a lot of pain. She had fractured her leg – how we don’t know. Her owner eventually took her to a vet to see about repairing the complicated break, but could not afford the surgery. So Daisy’s leg was splinted in hopes that it would heal on its own. However, without the surgery, her leg had begun to heal in a way that would have caused Daisy a lifetime of pain and impaired mobility.

Not long after, Daisy found herself scared and alone in a shelter in Evansville, IN, where her owner had dropped her off to become somebody else’s concern. Fortunately for Daisy, one of the shelter’s caring employees was concerned enough about this little pup to contact Westie Rescue Indiana (WRI) seeking help.

A WRI volunteer from western Kentucky met the shelter worker the very next day and immediately took Daisy to her vet in Owensboro, KY. Ultrasounds and X-rays were taken and showed the fracture to be far more extensive and complicated than originally thought. So Daisy was referred to an orthopedic specialist in Louisville where she subsequently underwent extensive surgery.

Daisy’s vet bills soon climbed into the thousands, but one look into her trusting eyes and there could be no question that whatever had to be done for her would be done. This sweet little pup was a trooper, making friends and admirers wherever she went, doing all that was asked of her without complaint and always, always bestowing kisses!

Our dedicated WRI volunteer devoted much of her life over the next several months to making sure Daisy got the loving care she required. She said that the most difficult part of the recovery process was keeping this naturally energetic Westie pup quiet enough to properly heal.

After several weeks of enforced confinement, Daisy was pronounced well enough to begin a course of water and physical therapy necessary to ensure she would be able to put weight on the leg and eventually walk without a limp.

Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, to a concerned shelter worker and some very accomplished vet and PT specialists, Daisy now has a full and happy life ahead of her. And thanks to help from WestieMed, Daisy’s bills can be paid in full without jeopardizing Westie Rescue Indiana’s ability to help the next Westie in need who comes our way!

Update August 6, 2015

Daisy - WestieMed Grant Recipient December 2013
Daisy – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Daisy has adjusted quite well to her life as a very spoiled member of our family.  She loves to cuddle, sleep on the bed, and run in the backyard.  She is very much a tom-boy and bosses around her brother Westies Elvis and Preston.  

Now, she even has a job on her brother’s website where she has become a fan favorite and an internet celebrity in her own right.  She has even started traveling to pet expos and a few months ago she flew on an airplane for the first time when she went to the Dallas Pet Expo. 

She has recovered very well from her extensive leg surgery back in 2013 which involved several months of rehabilitation.  Unfortunately, last fall, the pin in her leg started to shift and she had to have a second surgery to remove the pin.  

After another long month of crate rest, she made a complete recovery and the vets say she shouldn’t have any more problems in the future.  Since then, she has been back to chasing her brothers in the backyard.

Daisy has been a wonderful addition to our family and we can’t imagine our house without our “Daisy May”!  

Thanks, WestieMed for funding the surgery that allowed our little girl to walk, run again, and lead a normal life!

Rachel Phelps