Westie Rescue Network
  • Westie Rescue Network Inc.
    Westie Rescue Network Inc.   Rescuing, Rehabilitating, and Rehoming Westies for 29 years

      Welcoming Spring 2019, a time of renewal and regrowth

          ...and a chance for Westies to find a new home
  • Westie Rescue Network
    Westie Rescue Network   Rescuing, Rehabilitating, and Rehoming Westies for 29 years

      Welcoming Spring 2019, a time of renewal and regrowth

          ...and a chance for Westies to find a new home
1 Mar

From the President of Westie Rescue Network (WRN) --- 30 Years and Counting!

Dear Friends of Westie Rescue Network,

I hope the New Year has started off positive for you and your entire family.

2020 represents a milestone for WRN. It was 30 years ago (1990) that the West Highland White Terrier Club of Greater Denver (the Club) at the urging of the late Meg Van Dyke named Martha Smith as its Rescue Chairperson. It is worth noting that the West Highland White Terrier Club of America did not establish the National Rescue Committee until 1999. As the only AKC (American Kennel Club) sanctioned Westie Club in Colorado, and most of the surrounding states, the Club was ahead of the times in establishing a Westie Rescue capability. Martha formed the Club’s first Rescue Committee and recruited Carolyn Foley and the late Joe Downey to assist her. Joe was the driving force to secure a corporate 501 (c) (3) non-profit status for WRN in 1994 which allowed it to become a separate, stand-alone non-profit organization.

It is important to note that since WRN’s founding many members of the Club have provided valuable help as volunteers and/or financial donors to us. I would be remiss if I did not mention the following individuals, several of whom continue to assist us:

  • Hollie Hunter
  • Laurie and Paul Peterson
  • Dixie Sutton
  • Carol Hoekstra
  • Gail and Marty Tinianow
  • Jane Forster
  • Kathleen Spradley
  • Laurie Stephenson
  • Lisanne Smith
  • And all the other Club Members I have been privileged to meet

Thank you all very much for helping create and support the on-going legacy of WRN!

As we enter our 30th year let me give you an overview of our 2019 results. A total of 20 dogs entered the program, an increase of 3 over 2018. 17 of the dogs were adopted out during 2019, but sadly, 2 dogs were euthanized as a result of serious cancer issues. 1 dog was in the program at year-end and it was adopted early this year. There remains a serious shortage of Westies throughout the rescue community. We find people who want/need to give up a dog are able to sell them on Craigslist or other social media web sites. In addition, a stronger overall economy results in more people holding on to their dogs. We believe the enforcement of stronger spay/neuter laws in more states has reduced the number of dogs that might otherwise be available. Dogs surrendered to us are generally older (over 8 yrs.) and we do see more health issues. Our average veterinary cost per dog received increased almost 14% over 2018 to $1,190. For 2020 we are estimating another 10% increase in these costs. Thankfully, our many generous and loving donors have provided us with not only the money to cover our annual veterinary costs, but to actually increase the testing we now perform on the dogs coming to us. For example we now routinely perform ultrasounds on all our dogs because we are seeing too much bladder cancer. In addition we have been able to afford to consult with veterinary specialist primarily in the fields of cancer, dermatology and neurology as needed. This newsletter features the names of the donors who allow WRN to remain faithful to all the beautiful little white dogs that come into our care. To all of you who donate a sincere Thank You and God Bless You from yours truly, the Board of WRN and all our volunteers and Veterinary professionals.

Over the years a number of folks have said to me that WRN is “all about the little white dogs”. I understand how many people would say that. In my position I see it differently, “it is all about the volunteers”. Please indulge me for the following paragraph to introduce you to the wonderful team of past and present individuals who perform all the tasks that have helped make WRN a trusted source for Westies.

  • In the greater Colorado Springs/Castle Rocks area: Ellen and Brad Simco, Sarah Doud, Mike and Kennedy Taylor, Bob and Linda Gravelle, Linda and Brent Clibon, Mark and Carmen Ianacone, Lania Bryant, Paula Burmeister, Connie Cummiskey, Mary Beth Herens and Ruth Stricker. And down in Rye, CO there is Shawna Miller.
  • In the greater Denver area: Diane and Dave Veno, Marlene and Neal Armfield, Vena Flax, Myra Bates, Roxann Souci, Kristin Hernandez, Hope Ramos, Betsy Widner, Livia Hartgrove, John Boat, Karen Johnson and Ann Meisel.
  • North of Denver: Jan Humphrey, Deb Saret, Marion and Mark Englade, Gary and Jeri Christon, Mary and Gary Westdorp, Julie DeWitte, Karen and John Neff, Ellen Wing, Minnie Bourque, Beth Hall, Dale Eckhardt in Casper, WY, and Betty Varga in Cheyenne, WY.
  • Other Locals: Cindy and Len Wardlaw in Delta, CO, Pam Thiesfeldt in Vail, CO, Bobbie Carll in Durango, CO and Gayle Rojas in Scottsbluff, NE.
  • If I have left out the name of a deserving past volunteer I do apologize.

We are right at 1,000 Westies placed since our founding. Without all these passionate folks there is no WRN. I am humbled and blessed to work with them every day and cannot thank them enough for all they do for our Westies.

One more very important group that WRN works with, almost on a daily basis, are our Veterinarians.

  • Dr. Bob James at Aspen Commons Animal Hospital in Denver has, we believe, given away more than he has charged WRN. Dr. James has helped us for many years and usually has one of our Westie alumni welcoming clients to his office.
  • Drs. Erin Walters, Jenny Bentz and Evan Lehman at Mtn. Ridge Animal Hospital in Lafayette, CO have provided exceptional care to the dogs, fosters and adopters who they have worked with on our behalf.
  • Dr. Quinn Flenniken at North Academy and Briargate Veterinary Hospital in Colorado Springs has helped many WRN dog over the years and is a wonderful champion of our mission.
  • Dr. Tim Strauss at Rocky Mtn. Veterinary Dermatology in Frederick, CO only gets the tough cases and takes great care of them.
  • The veterinary staffs at Plum Creek Veterinary Services in Castle Rock and North Shore Animal Hospital in Loveland have worked with us for many years.
  • One more very important friend of WRN. Danya Apostolope is the owner of DC Grooming and the Dog Paw Spa in Lafayette, CO. When a WRN dog needs to be groomed, usually on short notice for a meet and greet, Danya consistently steps up no matter what day or time to help us out.

To all our Veterinarians and their staffs and to Danya, thank you for all your help and for the professional and loving manner in which you care for our dogs.

One final Thank you to Martha Smith and Carolyn Foley for getting WRN started and helping all of us learn to love these amazing canine characters we call Westies.

Warmest personal regards and a sincere thank you all for your commitment to WRN,

Gene Bourque

Contact Westie Rescue Network

(720) 360-1212

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Westie Rescue Network, Inc. (WRN) has been rehoming Westies since our founding in 1990 in Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming. We are an all-volunteer based tax exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

WRN was founded by members of the West Highland White Terrier Club of Greater Denver (WHWTCGD) and has successfully rehomed almost 1,000 Westies. We also provide rescue services for the West Highland White Terrier Club of America (WHWTCA) in all the states adjacent to the Rocky Mountains.

You can read more about WRN here.
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