I lost the last of my Westies in July. I swore I would not get another dog but my house was so empty with no pets. Then I saw a picture of some Westies that were up for adoption. One in particular looked just like my previous Westies.

Buddy and seven other Westies were relinquished by a breeder who was supposedly retiring. The dogs were being kept in deplorable conditions, living in a shed behind the house. I contacted the rescue group and said I was interested in adopting one in particular. They normally do not adopt out of state but if they could make arrangements, I could adopt him. A rescue transport group was found and the adoption could go forward.

Initially, Buddy tested negative for heartworms. I was told I should have him retested in six months as the first test might have been done too early.

At the six-month juncture he was tested again. This time he was positive for heartworms.

Buddy will be finishing the first segment of his treatment then he will go to the next phase of three injections of Diroban to kill the adult worms. He will need to be confined for an extended period of time. No easy task for a Westie.


Jenny came to WRSE (Westie Rescue Southeast) as the owner was asking to have her euthanized. As an 8 year old dog, the vet would not do so. One of our volunteers, (Also Jenny) picked her up, made a vet appointment for her and agreed to foster her. The vet visit resulted in finding she was in Ketoacidosis due to untreated Diabetes. She was immediately hospitalized to try and get her blood sugar normalized.

During the time she was in the hospital, WRSE was able to place her in a Westie-wise home with people who had experience with a diabetic dog. They lovingly took her in when she was stable enough to go home. She enjoyed her time with the family, but her illness returned and she had several visits to the ER in a short period of time. She needed an ultra-sound and was moved to a facility where they could accomplish this and care for her other needs. She had 2 nodules on her bladder. They were sent for tests and are yet to be determined.

Over the course of a few days she wasn’t eating, and had serious gastro-intestinal issues, along with complications of Diabetes and possible Cushing’s Syndrome. The hospital stayed in contact with us and kept us looped in at all times. On Friday, February 23, she took a turn for the worse. The Vets feared there really wasn’t much more that they could do for her. Her body was tired and worn out, which made recovery very difficult. She had been left untreated too long.

Despite the efforts of WRSE, many volunteers and supporters, we had to say goodbye and she is now healthy again at Rainbow Bridge. She knew she was loved, even if only for 6 days with her foster family.

Run free, sweet Jenny!


Penny is a 5 year old West Highland Terrier who was surrendered to our rescue, The Original Westies Rescued UK (TOWRUK) by her owner of 1 year, in September 2023. The reason he gave us was that Penny was too strong for him on walks and ‘pulled’ him over several times! Our transporter collected Penny and transported her to our lovely fosters, Kevin and Susan situated in North East England, who had not long ago lost their Westie Daisy.

Penny quickly settled in with Kevin and Susan and after a few days in foster care they noticed Penny was limping from her rear right knee so we booked her into our vets for a full health check. The vet on duty suggested Penny has x-rays to determine the cause of her limping and advised us, after her health check, that Penny was also suffering from Grade 4 dental disease and would require some tooth extractions. Penny’s previous owners vet confirmed that Penny’s leg and tooth conditions were previously diagnosed and recorded but not acted upon. To date Penny has settled in really well with our fosters and during our visits to see Penny she seems really happy. She has been spayed, had 9 teeth extracted plus a diseased bone removed as part of her dental procedure.

Penny’s completed x-rays have shown that Penny requires cruciate ligament surgery to her right back leg and possibly her left back leg in the future and was diagnosed with chronic arthritis in both of her back legs for which she will be put on recommended medication ‘Librela’ permanently.

We would like to very sincerely thank WestieMed for very kindly approving a grant to help with the costs of her veterinary surgery/treatment which she so desperately requires to help her to improve her quality of life. Her surgical procedure is planned for later this month.

Carol and Terry Riches

The Original Westies Rescued UK

Update March 3, 2024:

Penny has had her cruciate surgery to her back right leg and is recovering well, on the long road to full recovery. We will keep you updated on her progress. Her veterinary consultant is unfortunately confident her other back leg will require the same/similar surgery and will confirm after next x-rays after her recovery.

Kind regards,

Terry and Carol Riches, TOWRUK Officials

Update March 23, 2024:

Penny is recovering well from her cruciate surgery. The vets are very pleased with her healing. We will advise you when the consultant feels she is ready for the next x-rays to check internal healing and if her other leg requires any treatment/surgery.

Kind regards,

Terry Riches, TOWRUK Official




Kenzie was brought to the vet because she had not eaten in 5 days and she was vomiting and had diarrhea.  By the time she reached the animal hospital, she was in critical condition.  She was severely dehydrated, lifeless, and not knowing what was wrong, the initial estimate to treat Kenzie was much more than her owner was able to handle, therefore Kenzi’s owner was faced with euthanasia.  It was either luck or divine intervention, but the vet Kenzie was taken to happened to be my vet and she had never been treated there before.

On Monday, January 15, 2024 I received a phone call from my veterinarian asking if we could take Kenzie into rescue.   Kenzie was started on IV fluids, calcium, B12, antibiotics and a host of other medications.  Bloodwork indicated she had an infection, but within 24 hours, her numbers spiked dramatically and her electrolytes were dangerously low.

X-rays did not show anything unusual so my vet brought in an outside internist to perform an ultrasound which revealed many issues.  She has an infection of the gallbladder and evidence of acute pancreatitis.  The gallbladder is very thickened and there was a small amount of free fluid.  She showed evidence of vasculitis which is a reaction pattern characterized by an immune response directed toward the blood vessels.  Her GI track was thickened with inflammation which is evidence of acute pancreatitis and her liver is moderately enlarged.  We broadened the antibiotics and continued with supportive care and by day 5, her numbers started to improve.

We brought her home on Friday and we will continue oral medications.  She will need to be on antibiotics for 6 to 8 weeks.  Now that she is home, she is showing evidence of diabetes insipidus which we will address at her follow up appointment this week.  Her prognosis was “guarded” upon discharge from the hospital, but within just a few days she is acting like a normal Westie!  She is always first in line for meals and has taken up an interest in all things Westie.

Karen Simondet



Molly was surrendered to WSRH a year ago, after she was diagnosed with diabetes at eight years old. Her owner had trouble keeping up with her food and insulin schedule, and poor Molly was suffering the side effects. Her experienced foster was able to get her on a schedule and on the road to feeling better. A grant from WestieMed helped Molly get the testing she needed to establish her insulin dose and stabilize her blood sugar levels.

Molly is almost completely blind from cataracts, and the eye dogtor said she would be a suitable candidate for surgery once her blood sugar was stabilized. We booked her for a much-needed dental with her primary vet, who was concerned by some of her bloodwork and requested an abdominal ultrasound. Molly has shown symptoms of Cushing’s, but so far testing has been normal. The ultrasound showed no irregularities.

Molly continues to do well in her foster home, receiving her food and medications on a fixed schedule, and getting her blood sugar under control. WSRH is grateful for WestieMed’s assistance in helping this beautiful Westie feel better.

Kind regards,

Maggie Escriva

Volunteer, Intake Coordinator  Westie and Scottie Rescue Houston


Jessie was surrendered to WSRH by a breeder who said they were retiring and wanted us to find homes for the remaining eight Westies on their property. We immediately sent volunteers to get the Westies so we could start evaluating and taking care of them. Happily, we did not waste any time in getting them because they were very sweet dogs living in deplorable conditions.

We run heartworm tests on all new dogs as part of their intake medical assessment and two year old Jessie tested heartworm positive. We started her preparatory treatment as recommended by the American Heartworm Society and took care of her spay and dental. Jessie has been a delight to all who meet her and has selected her furever home so they will foster her through treatment.

The grant from WestieMed will cover the costs of the split Heartworm treatment so Jessie can live a happy and healthy life with a furever family that loves her.

Kind regards,

Maggie Escriva

Volunteer, Intake Coordinator  Westie and Scottie Rescue Houston


Emma is a delightful 7 year old Westie who came to WSRH because her previous owners could not manage her diabetes. She was incontinent and underweight when we received her, and we immediately placed her with a foster who is experienced with diabetic dogs.

Since she came to us, Emma has been placed on a set feeding and insulin schedule, and has had several checks at the vet. Each glucose curve or fructosamine test has indicated additional insulin needed, so her medication has been adjusted accordingly. While Emma’s blood sugar is still in the process of being stabilized, she has returned to a normal weight and no longer has issues of incontinence. We are grateful to WestieMed for helping us get her ready for her furever home.

Kind regards,

Maggie Escriva

Volunteer, Intake Coordinator  Westie and Scottie Rescue Houston


Westie Rescue Southeast (WRSE) has contacted many commercial/puppy mill Westie breeders offering a safe haven for any Westies in need. An Amish breeder contacted us about Ivy.

She had been kept in a pen inside of a barn with many other dogs. Her legs were atrophied from lack of the ability to move around, she had countless amounts of puppies in her 4 young years and her vocal chords had been cut. The rescues in her area were contacted but they were unable to take her, so we flew to Ohio to pick her up and drove 8 hours back to her foster home.

When Ivy was having her spay surgery, it was discovered that she had pyometra. Unfortunately, this is common for females out of commercial breeding facilities as they are kept in filthy pens or cages so they have a much higher chance of getting these infections. This make the spay surgery more complicated and higher risk. The infection was so severe that the inside of her uterus had turned green. The vet was very concerned about the possibility that the infection could have spread . She is on multiple antibiotics to hopefully prevent any further infection issues. The vet also confirmed her vocal cords have been cut. This is a cruel practice done by these mills to keep the dogs quiet.

After a week or so after her spay surgery, she became little lethargic and had a very high
respiratory rate. Her X-rays show spots in her right lung and an enlarged heart on the right side. She ultimately saw a cardiologist and Internal Medicine Specialist. The echocardiogram confirmed the enlarged right side of her heart but all of the valves and function are completely normal. She had broken out in skin lesions which they believe was an allergy reaction to the antibiotics she was on after her surgery. When they did the cytology of them there was bacteria present so she will be on a antibiotic for skin (Simplicef). However, because she has some cloudiness in her lungs along with these skin eruptions she was tested for blastomycosis fungal infection as a precaution. It is very prevalent in the area where she came from. The internal medicine doctor along with the radiologist didn’t think her lung issue is bacterial, but possibly lung worm. She will be on panacur dewormer for 10 days. This can cause the inflammation, cloudiness and spots seen on her X-rays. She is on medication to help get the inflammation down in her lungs so she can breathe easier. Lastly, she tested positive for Lyme disease. They sent out her blood sample to test the antibody level. Some dogs immune system will fight it off and still test positive. A 30 day treatment of doxycycline will be given if the
immune system was not able to fight it off.

A month or so in rescue, she is doing extremely well. Her westietude is starting to emerge. Her foster family is so in love with her and will most likely foster fail.

Thank you to WestieMed for helping us so that other dogs may receive the help they need.

Susie Massey

Westie Rescue SouthEast

Update March 12, 2024:

Ivy is doing well! As you know, last fall she battled pyometra, lung worms, hook worms, and Lyme disease. She is still having some issues with her gut biome (overgrowth of clostridium bacteria in her gut, we are working on it with her vet and Kym!). Behaviorally, she has made huge progress with her potty training although she is still not at 100%, but she is probably at 90%! She is very happy and comfortable at home with us but she is still fearful of visitors who come into our home, but getting more brave every day! Her personality has really started to shine through and she has become “mildly mischievous” and will sometimes steal a sock etc  We have taken her on 4 trips to Deep Gap, Cashiers, Charleston and Asheville. She got to visit on the beach for the first time last weekend at Folly Beach! We are working on her tricks. She knows sit, lay, shake paw and kind of knows twirl. She is very sweet and very loving. She does still struggle with her luxating patellas on both back knees as well as some quirky behavior on walks so we are working on leash walks in the neighborhood.

Susan D. Massey


Angel came from an older couple as an owner surrender. She was a daddy’s girl. He
unfortunately passed and her mom had major health issues and could no longer care for Angel. She asked her vet for help in finding a safe place for Angel and we were contacted.

This poor little girl has been suffering with long term skin issues. After a couple weeks in
rescue, She was having respiratory issues and coughing. She was taken to the Emergency Vet. The X-rays showed many spots with cloudiness on her lungs and an enlarged heart.
She was kept in the oxygen tent overnight to help her breathe easier. She had an echocardiogram to find the cause. The echocardiogram ruled out a few things. She
doesn’t have heartworm or heart disease. There are some changes indicating potential
pulmonary hypertension but not enough to need medication at this point. This information leads the specialist to believe that it is pneumonia, but not ruling out Westie Lung Disease.

She responded well to the intravenous antibiotics which is why she was moved out of oxygen tent and her respiratory rate improved. We are continuing antibiotic treatment at home and she will go back in two weeks for another X-ray to evaluate if there are any changes in her lungs. She will also follow up with the cardiologist in a few months.

Her skin is showing improvement, but she does have a bad infection in both ears. This poor little girl has a lot going on, but we are doing everything we can to make her feel better.

Thank you for the well wishes. Thank you to WestieMed for helping us help Angel and other Westies in need.

Susie Massey

Westie Rescue SouthEast

Update March 12, 2024:

She has been officially diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis (Westie Lung Disease) and is now on medication for pulmonary hypertension. Luckily the pneumonia cleared up. Her skin issues are well on their way to being healed. Still battling a few small spots of yeast but overall doing remarkably well. We can tell she is feeling better as her personality is shining through, she keeps her foster brothers in line. She is still in foster care and is being tested for Addison’s Disease this week. If diagnosis is confirmed, a treatment plan will be discussed.

Susan D. Massey


So Jack’s sad story begins with my husband, as always for the past 10 years, looking for a Westie for me to love. We lost our beloved “Gage” after 13 years and it took 10 years to find an ad on Craigslist to rehome a 4-5 year old male.

I was a little reluctant because it was a Philadelphia ad and I’m not a traveler and my husband isn’t always feeling well. After a few days of back and forth we were informed the breeder was actually in New Jersey. We spoke a few times. My husband asked many questions, I spoke with the breeder again a day or two later and I asked many questions. She even agreed to meet us halfway in Edison NJ.

So on July 20th we set out for the 100 mile trip. I brought a leash, a cage, water and a pillow. We met the breeder in a parking lot. I handed her the $350 and she handed over “Remses”. I put him on the ground. She informed me he never learned his name and this was probably his first time on pavement.  He’d never been on a leash either. He was shaking. 

The breeder scribbled a note on his “shot record” that was a receipt of sorts. I asked her a few more questions and we set off for the trip home. He stayed so quiet in the cage. I talked to him in a sing-song voice convincing him he was going to a place where he’d be loved and well taken care of and that I hoped he wouldn’t miss his old life too much. It was a quiet ride back home.

Over the following days as we waited for an appointment with our vet, we tried to decide what to call him since he never knew his name. A popular Scottish name was Jack, so that was it. I researched pet insurance also. Never knowing what laid in store. Pet insurance requires a visit to a vet in the prior 12 months with no pre-existing conditions.

At the vet’s office, I explained his story and he was given a thorough going over. I was informed his shot record wasn’t really accurate. Certain immunizations are accompanied by certificates and stickers. I had only check marks in a booklet attesting to his history. I told the vet, I wanted to call the breeder for an explanation about the check marks and if she had his rabies certificate or his Bordetella proof. He was given several tests and other shots and I was informed that he had several missing and broken teeth and that he only had one testicle. If I were to decide to neuter him, it would be a two-step procedure (for which there would be a two time charge). He would have to undergo a “spaying” as a female would to remove his testicle from his belly, and then a neuter as a male dog would to remove the other testicle. He would need dental attention too. Now we understood why he wasn’t much of an eater and turned his nose up at milk bone snacks.

A day or two later the Dr. called to inform us that Jack had heartworm. I was not only devastated for him as my mind went vividly wild as I googled what it meant. He could die. My terror turned to anger. The Dr. wants him back for another blood test to be certain. The poor dog, sticking tiny needles in his forearm to draw blood. He took it all so camly, except the yelp when he got stuck. I guess I was already attached to Jack because at 8 days in, I wanted to cry.

I called the breeder (yes, she’s a Westie breeder and has been for years). I asked her which vet the dog had seen (she had told my husband he was vet checked, bathed and groomed and ready to go). She stumbled over her answer and said the vet just checks his eyes and ears. I said really? My vet checked him inside and out and upside down! Why didn’t you tell us he had missing and broken teeth? Oh, yeah they get that from chewing wires was her answer. Why didn’t you tell us he had only 1 testicle, “Oh, yeah I knew he only had one testicle”. And did you know he has heartworm? How long had this poor guy been suffering? “Oh, I didn’t know he had heartworm.” I said, well you had him checked by a vet didn’t the vet test him? You told my husband he was “ready to go”!! Every picture you texted us he’s outdoors, wasn’t he protected? Obviously not! I need the vet’s name and I think you should not only give me back my rehoming fee, but pay for half his treatment costs. Her answer was that she was struggling and couldn’t possibly pay, but she’d “talk to the girls”, whoever they were and get back to me. She also informed me I could take him to Pennsylvania where they treat the heartworm for $450. On August 3rd she posted a new litter of 6 puppies for sale. Of course she never got back to me. I was willing to take her to small claims court but I didn’t know her address. I can’t read her scribbled last name, I only know she has a Breeders.net profile where she sells her puppies. After a week or so of no response I sent her a stinging text warning of the effects of Karma. 

The next day the vet called and Jack tested negative. I had to bring him back in to be stuck for a third time to be certain before any treatment could begin. He also got his Leptospirosis and Bordetella shots just to be sure because obviously this breeder is a storyteller. 

Jack was to begin his treatments after a month of antibiotics. I had to find a vet compound pharmacy to make him a liquid because I wasn’t sure he could chew a tablet.

He came to us very skittish. He jumps at loud noise and pushes himself to the very back of the cage to sleep. I leave the door open for him, but while trying to teach him and coax him out, he touches the floor like it’s made of lava, nails clenched like he’s gonna fall. He needs to be carried most of the time.

Over the past several weeks he’s starting to come around. He loves me to pet him, he gets so excited when I come from the upstairs or home from the store. He eagerly looks forward to dinnertime and he especially likes his outings in the backyard to do what he needs to do, then back inside.

The treatments will last months. He’ll have to lay quietly in the cage most of the time so as to not stir up the heartworm bacteria. Obviously all training is on hold for now. His 3rd heartworm test came back positive. I took him to the groomer to give him a summer cut and not have to worry about deep brushing and grooming while he’s convalescing. He has to stay very still for the 7 weeks or so of rounds of shots.

I was on Facebook one day and brought up some of the groups I had joined when Gage was here. I put a short story on Westie Nation about Jack. The response was just overwhelming! I don’t like to post things because people are so negative and nasty, but there’s a special kind of heaven in the Westie Lover. There were more than 300 people thanking and encouraging me for helping Jack. One person suggested I contact WestieMed. She said they may be able to help with the cost of his treatment. I carefully read everything on the website and decided to submit an application. There are so many stories of assistance! I am so grateful and happy that it was approved. I can’t describe my joy. This will help so much. Once he’s better I can then decide about his spay/neuter and dental issues. 

I have always been a believer that everything happens for a reason. Although we’re never always sure why or how. Jack was placed in my path for a reason. I believe it. I’m 100% attached to him and we’re making progress every day.

Thank you WestieMed for the great assistance to get him on a healthy path. I hope my story isn’t too long, I could talk about Jack all day.


Update February 8, 2024:

Jack is doing fine. He got through all the treatments and sadly tested positive again. 

The vet says this isn’t unusual and he can’t be tested again for a year. Meanwhile, he shows no signs of any ailments at all.

We’re so happy to have him with us. 

Again, I can’t thank you enough for the assistance with his care.  A true blessing.