Monday, April 22, 2024

For the Love of Westies

Westie art for the Westie Foundation of America by Deborah Borgo

Westies pitch in to help humans with deadly diseases

Westies may hold key to deadly human and canine diseases

The Westie Foundation of America, Inc. reflects on historical year for the organization and the West Highland White Terrier Breed

The Westie Foundation of America’s accomplishments in 2023 will pay dividends for many years to come by leading to improving and saving of Westie lives.”

— Bebe Pinter, President of the Westie Foundation of America

HOUSTON, TX, USA, December 29, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Westie Foundation of America (WFA), a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the health and well-being of the West Highland White Terrier, celebrates significant progress made in 2023 that will lead to longer and healthier lives for the breed. The Westie Foundation’s efforts reflect the mission of the non-profit foundation: “Lead, innovate and advance medical research to benefit the health and quality of life of West Highland White Terriers.”

“The Westie Foundation of America’s accomplishments in 2023 will pay dividends for many years to come by leading to improving and saving of Westie lives,” said Bebe Pinter, President of the Westie Foundation of America.

2023 Milestones for the WFA

The implementation of the first Westie biobank, known as the WFA Biobank, has allowed WFA to support crucial research around the world targeted at improving the health of Westies but with positive implications for human health, as well.. One research project that is harnessing the power of the biobank is underway at Cornell University where researchers are studying Legg Calve Perthes, a disease that occurs in puppies when the femoral head of the hip joint temporarily loses its blood supply and the bone begins to atrophy.

Storage for Westie DNA samples provides a tool to help better understand diseases that afflict the West Highland White Terrier as well as other canine breeds. It also provides sources of DNA for research efforts by both veterinary researchers and human medical researchers who are working to solve some of the most devastating diseases that occur in both canines and humans. “We are assisting other breed clubs, as well, to establish their own biobanks,” said Kay McGuire, DVM, Vice President of Health for the Westie Foundation of America. “By doing so, more can be learned about canine health, information can be shared and more lives can be saved.”

In addition, this year, the WFA funded studies with University of Zurich, Switzerland on Atopic Dermatitis, a common and often debilitating condition in Westies, and with University of Edinburgh, at The Royal (Dick) College of Veterinary Medicine, in Scotland on Pulmonary Fibrosis, a deadly respiratory disease that currently has no therapeutic options in canines.

The WFA launched the two major donor designated endowment funds that will focus on two of the most deadly and confounding conditions afflicting the breed. “The Westie Foundation of America is honored to establish the Thomas & Roxanne Austin Endowment for Atopic Dermatitis and the Karen R. Heere Endowment for Research in Cancer Affecting West Highland White Terrier Dogs Fund,” said Pinter. “It is our privilege to be the stewards of their incredible generosity and to honor their immense love of Westies.” Other donors can also designate gifts to these endowments or donate separately. To make a tax-deductible donation, visit https://www.westiefoundation.org.

In efforts to support the next generation of veterinarians, WFA annually funds educational grants for vets in training. In 2023, the WFA granted one fellowship through AKC Canine Health Foundation and two scholarships to third year plus veterinary students.

The WFA’s annual online auction fundraiser supports the work of our all-volunteer team. This year, the event raised thousands of dollars auctioning collectible items such as art, interior décor and jewelry and continued to spread the word about the good work of the WFA.

Two of the most helpful tools available to Westie owners include a guidebook on important health issues — the Westie Health Book — and the WFA’s newsletter. The current issue of the Westie Health Book is available on the WFA website. The newsletter, a source of research, health information, and feature stories, is available for free. Both the book and newsletter may be found at https://www.westiefoundation.org.

The Westie Health Book is periodically updated to reflect changes that affect the treatment or management of health conditions. So, in 2023, WFA contracted with the University of Georgia, College of Veterinary Medicine to develop new chapters and update information in The Westie Health Book. Revisions are expected to be completed by late 2024.

About the Westie Foundation of America (WFA):

The Westie Foundation of America, Inc., (WFA) is a non-profit corporation, recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. The mission of the Foundation is to provide financial aid and other support for medical research to benefit the health and quality of life of West Highland White Terriers; and to develop and communicate information regarding the health, care, breeding and quality of life of Westies to Westie owners, Westie breeders and veterinarians. To find out more about the WFA Biobank and the WFA’s efforts, or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit: https://www.WestieFoundation.org

Teresa Barnes
Westie Foundation of America
+1 303-521-4080
email us here
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Originally published at https://www.einpresswire.com/article/678032375/for-the-love-of-westies

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