Budgie (aka Angel) had been purchased in New York from a breeder. Her pet parent traveled to Melbourne, FL, when she was approx nine months old, brought her to the local shelter. Budgie is now 9 yrs old. It is unknown how long it was before she was adopted from the shelter or how many families she had been with before living with her last owner before she came to my family.
Her owner had passed away and, along with another terrier breed dog, had been put on a back porch. By whom, it is unknown. A neighbor had been feeding them once a day and ensuring there was water. Another neighbor intervened after learning the two dogs had been abandoned on the porch. After attempts to have local animal control assist, the kind neighbor researched and located Sunshine State Westie Rescue, who immediately sent someone to rescue the dogs. It was thought that her time on the porch was a few months; however, the paperwork I have from the first vet she saw after rescue stated that the owner had passed a year prior. I can only hope the paperwork information is a misprint, and the time being abandoned was, in fact, only a few months.

Budgie was found without any hair, weighing 8 lbs, and as most rescues, suffering from multiple health issues. The foster family (bless their hearts) treated her for an ear infection, UTI, and skin problems. After three months under the foster’s care, Budgie was ready for adoption. We fell in love with her story and applied to Sunshine State Westie Rescue, and after a few weeks of the process, Budgie found her new home consisting of myself, my husband, two 3-year old Westie boys, and our two cats. 

We went to get Budgie on Sept 19, 2020 and she’s been part of our family for about 5 1/2 months now. We’ve cleared up any lingering health issues, including having seven teeth extracted due to receding gums and exposed roots. This medical problem was unknown until my vet suggested a deep root cleaning. What a change in her personality after the pain in her mouth was relieved! She is happy, spunky, and full of Westitude! Her remaining issue is her eyesight from progressive cataracts. Budgie has a hard time following her toys that she wants us to toss around; she can’t keep up or follow her younger brothers when playing in the yard, and she is starting to show signs of not recognizing her surroundings. She is the sweetest girl, loving, and does her best to get around. We know that with restored eyesight, her life would be so much more fulfilling for her and her brothers as she’d be able to play more interactively and keep up!

Her surgery is scheduled for April 27th, and she will still need her pre-op bloodwork completed, and we couldn’t be happier for her. We’ve had the retina testing completed, and the prognosis for full eyesight recovery is excellent. She deserves to see her world around her and enjoy her life. We are looking forward to giving this extraordinary gift to her and will share more after surgery.

We thank WestieMed for the caring and support for Westies in need of medical care and all others who helped make this possible.

Felicia D.

Update May 11, 2021:


Budgie is doing great getting a thumbs up at her 2-week checkup today. We expect to remove the cone next week. So fun to to see her interacting with everything around her!


Update May 18, 2021:


Budgie is now cone free with a new eye drop regimen. She will have another check up next week. She had a bath, finally, but sooo needs a spa day! Pic with the brothers…


Update June 16, 2021:

Budgie is doing great! We are down to one set of drops daily, next check-up is in a month, then 3 months, then 6 months, and that annual thereafter.

Once the prescribed after-surgery drops are gone, we can go back to once daily with her forever drops. YAY!

Again, we cannot thank everyone enough for making this possible! Watching her interact, play, chase lizards, etc., is amazing for all of us…the other two crazy ones included.


Update October 28, 2021:

Budgie is doing fantastic since her eye surgery! What a treat to watch her enjoying all that is around her. Budgies’ new favorite thing to do..sit in the window, watch for squirrels, lizards, and the people walking by! We could’ve never had this procedure done for Budgie without your organization, we can’t thank you enough!

Felicia & Steve Demon

Update April 26, 2022:

Hope all is well for everyone! Budgie passed her annual check up for her eyes with flying colors.

She’s released until next year. Still can’t tell you how thankful we are for your help with her!

Look at that face…she is a dolly, with Westitude, and happiness all in one.


McDuff - WestieMed Recipient


January 2020

On November 24, 2019, a severely neglected white dog, tinged with brown fur from the filth and grime of the elements, was found by animal control, wandering as a stray, in the streets of Orlando, Florida. Upon intake into Orange County Animal Services, a high kill shelter, the county vet was unable to perform the necessary examination of him, due to severe matting, so the shelter groomer was tasked with completing a total shave down of him. It was at this time, the shelter staff became aware of the oozing golf ball-sized tumors he has on his head and back, along with about thirty other smaller tumors, of various sizes all over his body. Sadly, he was still put on the general floor for adoption, even in this poor condition; and, to add insult to injury, none of the shelter staff was aware this little guy was a Westie! After being at the shelter, for twelve days, the rescue coordinator finally released him for rescue, at which point a local rescue accepted him under their rescue umbrella, with my husband and I being contacted requesting us to accept and care for him, as a foster.

On December 6, 2019, he exited the shelter as a happy, alert dog, with severe kennel cough, which proceeded to pneumonia. After almost forty-five days of continuous care for the pneumonia, he is almost completely recovered, and we finally are seeing him have a zest for life, wanting to play with his foster brother and sisters, with a tail that seems to almost always be wagging. Since his arrival to our home, he has been under constant vet care, with us becoming aware that he is aged closer to ten years, versus the six years that the county vet had estimated him to be. Per labs, he has elevated liver enzymes, but thankfully he does not have Cushings. As we are unsure of the nature of the tumors, as well as to the cause of the elevation to his liver enzymes, we are not sure if he will be a candidate for adoption; however, my husband and I have committed to him, for the duration of his life, for however long that may be.

Thanks to the assistance of WestieMed, and its supporters, he can have the surgery to remove the tumors, as well as for a dental with extractions. Additionally, he will be seen by a specialist for an ultrasound of his liver and gallbladder, as well as for a bile acids test, and a complete liver profile. His allergy issues will also be addressed.

We have named him McDuff and are calling him “Duffy”. McDuff is very much loved by my husband and me, and even by his Scottish Terrier foster brothers, Hamish and Bruce; his Scottish Terrier foster sister, Zoey; and, even by the resident cat, Timothy (although their bonding is more characterized as a love/hate relationship).

We know each rescue dog has a story to tell, and we are hopeful that the ending chapters to McDuff’s book will be full of only happy memories, with the sense of security that comes from having a family that loves him unconditionally, and from being blessed to have caring people, like those of WestieMed, offer their kindness and support in his time of need.

Update February 6, 2020

Just wanted to let you know that McDuff had the tumor on the top of his head removed yesterday, under local anesthesia. The decision to use local versus general was sole because of the recovery period needed for his lungs after getting over pneumonia; however, since the tumor kept getting infected it becomes imperative that it be removed as soon as possible. Already, he feels so much better. Now comes the wait to find out the pathology results. Fingers crossed it is non-cancerous!

He is such a sweet boy that I want to be able to watch him chase the squirrels for many springs to come; to run the beaches in the summer months; and, to chase the lure on the dogs monthly outings to the lure line events.

This was for sure a major life changing event in his life: One we could never have accomplished without the assistance of WestieMed! We are so appreciative of your groups help in giving McDuff this chance to finally have all his medicals addressed.

Next major event for him is March 23, 2020, when he will have the dental with extractions, as well as more tumors removed – all those will be done under general anesthesia. Oh, and I wanted to let you know that he is now known as McDuff Johnson! We could not imagine sending him back to the rescue that pulled him, for many reasons, but the main one being that we love him!

Hugs to you!

Update February 20, 2020

I have some wonderful news to share with you on McDuff. The tumor on his head is NON-cancerous — we are so happy! It ended up being a Basal Cell Tumor (trichoblastoma).

So, end of next month he has the dental and hopefully the rest of all these tumors removed. The one on the back is back to draining. But, he was paid a huge complement today by someone that could not believe he is the same dog. He is so happy, and very energetic now.

Only other issue is his breathing, which we hope will continue to improve over the next month.

We are not having wheezing, just some coughing when pressure from the harness is present. He also is a snorer.


Update July 3, 2020

McDuff - WestieMed Recipient
McDuff – WestieMed Recipient

McDuff has had a long road to recovery due to having pneumonia. He has undergone one surgery for the removal of a tumor on his head, as well as just a second surgery for a dental and tumor removal. He will hopefully be available for adoption soon, under the care of our state’s breed-specific rescue: Sunshine State Westie Rescue, which he has been transferred from me to them to ensure he goes to a Westie specific household.

Sincerely, Mina Johnson

McDuff was transferred to us from Mina Johnson, on May 26, 2020. One June 22, he went into surgery to have the dental done and two growths removed. We are currently screening applications for his placement. I needed to wait for the biopsy results to come back before we actually make any choice. The great news we got is that the mass that was the biggest concern that was on his back, was benign and the second mass was on/in his ear. He is recovering well from the procedures. He’s a funny and sweet boy and I don’t think there will be any problem finding him a great home.

Aggie Latyak,
Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Update December 1, 2020

McDuff was transferred to us from Mina Johnson, on May 26, 2020. On June 22, he went into surgery to have the dental done and two growths removed. We are currently screening applications for his placement. I needed to wait for the biopsy results to come back before we actually make any choice. The great news we got is that the mass that was the biggest concern that was on his back, was benign and the second mass was on/in his ear. He is recovering well from the procedures. He’s a funny and sweet boy and I don’t think there will be any problem finding him a great home.

I wish I had a better update for you. McDuff was given serious medical care, including another $1000 we put in on top of your generous $2500 for his medical care. We had an ugly tumor removed and another suspicious one also and biopsied to be sure it wasn’t anything to be concerned about. They were negative and he was ready for his new home. He was adopted by an amazing couple who loved him unconditionally. Unfortunately, two weeks into his adoption, he suddenly became very ill. After all the tests the vet believed he had a blockage of some kind. He went into emergency surgery and what they found was that he had a tumor in his stomach and it had metastasized into other organs. He showed no signs and lived a great life right up until the last couple of days. When they were advised by the vet how bad it was, they decided he should not, could not suffer. He went to the bridge on July 31, 20. Sorry for the bad news.

Aggie Latyak
Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Chloe - WestieMed Grant Recipient May 2018


In early April, we were contacted by a lady that had taken in five Westies from a family member that had become ill and couldn’t care for them. When she found out the owner would not get well enough to ever be able to care for the dogs, she decided she needed to re-home them. We were told that the dogs were acquired for breeding purposes. We arranged for the arrival of the five dogs and settled them into foster homes.

We were told the dogs were all healthy and sweet. They all are definitely sweet, but right from the start, foster mom noticed that Chloe, was not well. She was very skinny, lethargic and just unwell.

She arranged for the vet to see the dogs first thing that next morning and that is when we found the extent of the problem with Chloe, a bad case of Westie Jaw known as Craniomandibular Osteopathy (CMO). They gave care instructions to the foster mom which included processing soft food with water or broth into a thick soup, which she eagerly lapped up. She was able to start gaining weight and her energy increased every day. We were referred to the specialists at the University of FL Veterinary hospital who said they had never seen this condition in such an advanced state. They advised that the best hope for this little girl was an extensive and dangerous surgery. We are very concerned about this, but we know her options are limited.

Our goal for this incredibly sweet little girl is to provide her with a more normal life that will allow her to be happy, healthy and for her to enjoy her life to the fullest.

Aggie Latyak
Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Update August 14, 2019

I am not sure if the last update included the immediate aftermath of her surgery. Her condition was so far advanced that they could not free her jaws. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem to be in too much discomfort and she does have pain medication on hand if she should need it. The few interested parties that initially acted like they were interested in adopting her no longer expressed interest when we couldn’t correct the problem, so she is being cared for by our foster. The other thing is that she and her sister are very bonded. Foster mom decided to adopt her sister, Panda, so they could stay together. They are having a great life. Chloe loves to run outside, play in the mud and swim in the pool. Feeding time, as you can imagine, is very messy because of the way she has to eat, but foster mom has it down to a science now.

Thank you so much for helping us with our really difficult cases.
Aggie Laytak

Scout - WestieMed Grant Recipient January 2017


Scout is our third Westie and a three-year-old rescue. We are so happy he’s here with us and is bringing us so much joy!

We were beyond heartbroken when our Callie passed away suddenly in September 2016. Although Callie had been diagnosed with IBS and Addison’s Disease she had been doing really well for many years with much love, monitoring, and medication. She was almost 14 when we lost her.

We knew we would eventually want to rescue another Westie so I contacted Sunshine State Westie Rescue. It was amazing for us when in a very short amount of time we found out about Scout who had been rescued and was being fostered. He is a beautiful, loving little dog who happens to have Addison’s Disease as well! After much soul searching we knew we had to say “yes” to rescuing him, especially since we know so much about Addison’s and what it entails.

It’s only been a little over two months since we brought Scout home to live with us and he’s happier and more comfortable in his surroundings every day. We believe Callie arranged this for us knowing we would take good care of him as we did for her.

Heartfelt thanks to all at WestieMed for the financial assistance you have provided to our family for our little angel, Scout.

The Jacobson Family

Update July 19, 2017

Scout - WestieMed Grant Recipient January 2017
Scout – WestieMed Grant Recipient

Scout is doing great, very happy and healthy, and has brought so much joy to all of us, including his three kitties!

He’s so smart and playful and we feel like he’s always been with us.

Scout is our second Addisonian Westie however this is our first experience with giving the percorten. He takes it well and without a peep!

We’re looking forward to spending many, many, many more years of love and happiness with Scouty. I have also attached a picture for you :))

Thanks again, WestieMed!

The Jacobson Family

Lola - WestieMed Grant Recipient November 2015


A lady who is a Westie lover saw this young puppy advertised for adoption. It was noted that the dog had a problem with her heart but there was hope that it was a condition that she might grow out of. The adopter had made arrangements with the family to help look after the puppy while she was at work.

Unfortunately, things came crashing down with unexpected health issues hit her family and then tests by her vet showed that Lola’s condition is much more serious than expected and she wasn’t going to grow out of it. She needed serious medical care if she had any hope of a normal life. She loved this little girl enough to make the hard decision to surrender her to us in the hopes that we can give her the care she needs.

Once our specialist vet did some tests on Lola he found pulmonic stenosis, which means one side of her heart is too blocked to function properly. It is possible that she could suffer heart failure or sudden death at any time.

Right now she is being monitored closely and taking heart meds that the vet ordered. Monitoring her is crucial because she feels fine and she’s a puppy. You can’t keep a good Westie puppy down. Her foster family makes sure she takes her breaks and rests well.

Thanks to the help from WestieMed, we can now plan the surgery that could give her a more normal life. Thank you to everyone at WestieMed for giving us the necessary assistance to help this precious little pup. Thank to the board for granting our request for help!

Aggie Laytak
Sunshine State Westie Rescue

Update June 24, 2016

Lola - WestieMed Grant Recipient November 2015
Lola – WestieMed Grant Recipient

She is doing very well.

She enjoys running in the backyard and playing with the other dogs.

The vet she saw recently said he wouldn’t have known she had a heart problem if they didn’t tell him.

Thank you for the grant to help Lola.

Update December 1, 2016

Lola - WestieMed Grant Recipient November 2015
Lola – WestieMed Grant Recipient

I finally got an update from Lola’s family. They said her health is perfect.

She loves to play fetch (all day if she could). She mostly keeps by her dad’s side from the minute he comes home from work. She actually waits until he goes to bed before she will settle in for bed.

As of now, there are no concerns about her health and she easily maintains a constant 10.6 lbs for her girlish figure. They are totally in love with that sweet girl.

Thank you again for your help with her.


Sunshine State