YTCAF Donor Program

You can make a memorial to remember a very special friend or special pet or you can honor someone or their accomplishments or just make a donation via our donor program.  You can:

  • Make a donation by check or money order, using this form, mailed to our Treasurer at:
    Gloria Lyon, Treasurer
    YTCA Foundation
    526 N West Avenue PMB 46
    Arlington, WA 98223
  • Donate by using our Pay Pal donate button
  • Donate books, figurines, art, or other goods or services of value that YTCAF can auction at our yearly auctions
  • Support our various fund raising projects

If you have any questions or would like more information or have any suggestions for how we can improve our site, please do not hesitate to contact us with those suggestions.

Express Updates


December 2011 Express Article

In June 2011 we received word from the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) that the study the YTCAF has co-sponsored, D09CA-082, "Investigating a Procaspase-3 Activator for the Treatment of Canine Lymphoma," at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in which researchers were evaluating the safety and efficacy of procaspase-activating compound 1 (PAC-1) in dogs with lymphoma, was being discontinued. We had originally voted to support this study as lymphoma is one of the most common canine cancers and is often fatal because the cancer becomes resistant to currently available chemotherapy treatments. This study sought to use PAC-1 as a new treatment and the initial research was very promising; however further research showed that one major side effect was a severe neurotoxicity and thus the study was discontinued.

Often as much knowledge is gleaned when a specific research project fails as when it succeeds and thus the efforts were not entirely wasted. MAF allowed the YTCAF Board to substitute another similar study, D12CA-0026, "Developing a New Treatment for Canine Lymphoma," Dr. Nicola Mason, University of Pennsylvania. This grant project will examine B-cell Lymphoma in affected dogs. This research in dogs is similar to Hodgkin's lymphoma in humans. The results could lead to the first targeted treatment of canine B-cell lymphoma and may significantly improve the outcome for dogs with B-cell lymphomas.

In celebration of our 20th Anniversary, the YTCAF announced plans to move in a new direction in grant funding. Instead of relying on intermediaries such as the Morris Animal Foundation and the AKC Canine Health Foundation, the YTCA Foundation Board has decided to forge direct connections with Veterinary Colleges across the country. In taking this important step we feel that we can more directly influence the veterinary community’s familiarity with the Yorkshire Terrier and our breed’s health problems. Future private practice veterinarians and researchers alike will be positively influenced by our efforts. Currently too often Yorkshire Terriers barely make the radar in research concerns.

The first recipient of this new effort was Elizabeth Gettinger, a rising third-year veterinary student at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Elizabeth is a previous summa cum laude graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science. Ms. Gettinger needed funding to support her participation in the clinical trial being conducted by Dr. Terri DeFrancesco to examine a new diagnostic marker (BNP plasma concentrations) in dogs with possible heart failure. In late August the YTCAF received a "Thank You" letter and report in the form of a PowerPoint Presentation from Ms. Gettinger detailing her experiences working in Dr. DeFrancesco’s lab.

Ms. Gettinger wrote: "I would like to say a sincere "thank you" to the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation for your generous grant which has allowed me to participate in a summer research project at the North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine. As a veterinary student balancing education and finances can be very difficult, but your grant allowed me to combine the two. I was able, throughout the summer, to become educated in the ways of performing a clinical trial, the methodology involved and some of the more difficult obstacles that can be encountered. This summer Dr. Teresa DeFrancesco and I recruited dogs with kidney disease to better understand the relationship between kidney disease and the levels of a new blood test, cBNP, to evaluate heart function. Dr. DeFrancesco is also performing studies on plasma cBNP in normal dogs, dogs with cough or dyspnea and dogs with asymptomatic heart disease. cBNP (c-terminal b-type natriuretic peptide) is a hormone released by the heart in response to strain and is increased by heart disease and increased the most by heart failure. This new blood test could potentially help to quickly diagnose heart failure in dogs that are too unstable for chest x-rays because of difficulty breathing. However, studies in humans have shown that cBNP could be increased with kidney disease (complicating the use of this test), but no one had looked at cBNP in dogs with kidney disease with normal hearts to see if this occurs - The results of this study are very preliminary, but interesting cBNP levels do not appear to change as dramatically in dogs with kidney disease as they do in people, but there appears to be increased in dogs who have problems with chronic high blood pressure."

If Dr. DeFrancesco’s preliminary results hold true to the end of the study, this would make cBNP an important test because heart disease affects approximately 10% of dogs in the US and is the second most common cause of death,. In our own Yorkshire Terrier Health Survey of several years ago, 12.5% of Yorkshire Terrier breeders reported having dogs with heart disease. The use of a non-invasive blood test will make cardiac care more affordable for the average owner or breeder and will not cause the dogs the distress or pain of traditionally invasive tests.

Lastly, the Foundation has again taken the "Challenge," the Rabies Challenge. As we discussed in several Express articles previously, the Rabies shot is one of the most powerful of veterinary vaccines. The rabies vaccination that our Yorkies receive is the same vaccine given to a St. Bernard or any large dog. It wasn’t so long ago that Yorkie owners/breeders feared the day they went to get this shot in order to comply with state laws. Some Yorkies died while others were left ill and or disabled. Many states have changed their Rabies laws since the Rabies Challenge began. For this program to continue and more state laws to change to less frequent vaccination protocol, we must continue to meet the "challenge". In the last few weeks, another anonymous donor has pledged a $10,000 match for every dollar given to the Rabies Challenge. The Foundation has stepped up to the plate again and continued in our support of this worthwhile cause by contributing another $1,000. So afar the Foundation has contributed $6,500 (with some matching money) since 2007. In the end, all dogs should benefit from this study - and the over vaccination of the Rabies shot should stop.

July 2011 Express Article

In celebrating our 20th anniversary, The Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation (YTCAF) has REACHed FOR THE STARS in our efforts to fund veterinary research to benefit our breed. This has only been made possible with the help of so many caring and loving Yorkie fanciers. Our goal for this anniversary year is to fund $20,000 of research through grants and other programs. This research will provide a healthier future for not only our beloved breed, but all purebred dogs in general. The work of the YTCAF is made possible by those who care --- those who donate time, money, or both and those who participate in the research. We own a debt of gratitude to everyone because without you there would be no Foundation!

As we have reported before, many of the grants we previously funded were heavily involved in genetics. This type of research costs lots of money because of technical equipment and supplies and often yields no real applicable results of benefit to Yorkie breeders and owners. Our new approach this year has been to identify grants and programs that will address the health problems identified in our Health Survey conducted several years ago. As the first component of our new direction, these are some of the grants which we are helping to support based on recommendations by the Morris Animal Foundation and the AKC Canine Health Foundation:

  • "Improving Monitoring of Dogs with Congestive Heart Failure: seeks to
    Utilize two chemicals found in older dogs with this common condition to improve monitoring of their health without invasive measures.
  • "Potential Drug Therapy for Lymphoma" will research a particular compound that may make tumor cells die without the need for other chemotherapy in this common and often fatal canine cancer.
  • "Studying Chemo-Resistant Cancer Cells" is a project that seeks to understand why cancer stem cells are often not killed during conventional chemotherapy, thereby leading to recurrence of the cancer. The investigators will try to find new treatments to kill these stem cells, leading to a more promising prognosis.
  • "Genetics of Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease" is in its final year, and the YTCAF Board wanted to help see the project reach its goal of finding the mutations that lead to this painful and debilitating bone disease of young toy and terrier dogs.
  • "Mucosal Gene Expression Profiles in Canine Inflammatory Bowel Disease" - IBD is a chronic disease of the intestinal tract that appears to have a genetic basis that is then influenced by other variables ina dog’s life. The researchers are trying to find the genetic markers and to identify the conditions that lead to actual disease.
  • "Improving Outcomes of Cataract Surgery" will help many of our older dogs who suffer from this eye condition. The researchers are examing the use of a new anti-inflammatory medication that will increase post-surgical success.

The second component of our new direction was just announced several weeks ago. Instead of relying on intermediaries such as the Morris Animal Foundation and the AKC Canine Health Foundation, the UYCA Foundation Board has decided to forge direct connections with Veterinary Colleges across the country. In taking this important step we feel that we can more directly influence the veterinary community’s familiarity with the Yorkshire Terrier and our breed’s health problems. Future private practice veterinarians and researchers alike will be positively influenced by our efforts. Currently two often Yorkshire Terriers barely make the radar in research concerns.

To this end our first grant has been extended to Elizabeth Gettinger, a rising third-year veterinary student at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Elizabeth is a previous summa cum laude graduate of the University of Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and is currently 2nd in academic standing in her veterinary class. Elizabeth Gettinger’s grant is in the amount of $3,000 and will fund her summer research position with Dr. Terri DeFrancesco, Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Sciences. Dr. DeFrancesco is a board certified Veterinary Cardiologist who is currently studing the use of BNP plasma concentrations as a diagnostic marker in dogs who may have possible heart failure. This would be an important test because heart disease affects approximately 10% of dogs in the U.S. and is the second most common cause of death. In our own Health Survey, 12.5% of Yorkshire Terrier Breeders reported having dogs with heart disease. The use of anon-invasive blood test will make cardiac care more affordable for the average owner or breeder and will not cause the dogs the distress or pain of traditionally invasive tests.

The third component of our efforts this year is to send at least one Board member to the AKC Canine Health Foundation Conference to be held in St. Louis in mid August. The conference this year will focus on different aspects of current research into canine health issues. Topics to be covered will include Canine Cardiology, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Degenerative Myelopathy, Cancer Research Overview and Cellular Pathogenesis, Cancer Biotherapeutics, Nutrients and Effects During Chemotherapy, Performance and Immune Enhancing Nutrition/Digestive Health, Interpretation of Genetic Test Results, Understanding Research Programs, and Challenges in Veterinary Research. Presenters will include both faculty and researchers from the country’s leading veterinary colleges. Our hope is that the information garnered from this conference will help the YTCA Foundation Board make better decisions in the future as to grant funding and public education efforts via our website.

Please feel free to contact any board member with questions or concerns you have. The email addresses are on our website, www.yorkiefoundation.org

March 2011 Express Article

OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY

DOWN MEMORY LANE

2011 MARKS THE 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE Yorkshire Terrier Club of America Foundation (YTCAF). We shall all be forever grateful to our late President and Founder, Betty Dullinger - who put her dream, her vision and her profound love for the Yorkshire Terrier to work by establishing the YTCAF. Betty’s vision came from her deep concern for the serious health issues she was seeing in our breed. Recognizing research was needed to address some of these serious health concerns, Betty, a long time Secretary of the YTCA and Board Member, sought a solution through the YTCA. The YTCA is a not for profit organization; however, donations made to the parent club cannot receive tax credit. Betty’s vision made it possible for YTCA members to support a research arm of the YTCA through the Foundation that would benefit both Yorkshire Terriers and the donors who contributed to the Foundation. With the help of attorney and still legal advisor, Pat Reynolds, the three Missourians and incorporators: Mary Mellinger, John Mellinger, and Marjorie Lewis --- the Foundation was officially born on December 26, 1991 in Jefferson City, MO. The original board of directors consisted of Dr. Larry Snyder, President; Betty Dullinger, Vice President; Dorothy DeMaula, Treasurer; Sharon McCadam, Secretary; Shirley Patterson, Ways and Means and Communicator Editor; Deloras Maas and Karen Dent. Betty became the second President of the Foundation, a position she held until her death in 2000. We want to thank all of the original board members and incorporators for their help in making the Foundation a reality. Other breed clubs still contact us for information since the Foundation is one of the early pioneers of being a separate entity from their parent club.

How We Get Things Done

Our Constitution and By-Laws set forth very specific parameters for how we help further the goals of having healthy Yorkshire Terriers. Each year, we carefully study the grant proposals submitted to us by the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF), and other outside sources. We make final picks to receive financial support based on which proposal are most likely to benefit our breed and also by what our Health Survey has told us. Due to the recent economy, several things have happened.

First, we are receiving more funding requests (over 70+ for 2011 as opposed to 26 for 2010 from CHF and MAF). This means that it takes us longer to research the proposals. Things that we look for as predictor of future success are the principal investigator’s track record, is this grant likely to benefit our breed either directly or indirectly, and how much of the grant’s funding simply goes to maintenance items such as rent, salaries, etc. Second, we along with many other non-profit groups are getting fewer donations so we have to work harder through our fund-raising programs to support our chosen grants. We currently anticipate announcing very soon our list of grant proposals to which we will contribute this year. Then, during the remainder of 2011, (our 20th Anniversary Year!) we will work to support more grants for 2012.

Another unanticipated result of the "Contact Us" part of our website are the tragic emails we frequently receive from desperate Yorkie owners across the U. S. who own a beloved Yorkie that has just been diagnosed with an expensive medical condition like porto systemic shunt, bladder stones, etc. While we cannot offer them financial support, the director closest to them or another one of our many Yorkie friends and supports steps in to counsel them on medical options, other funding opportunities, etc. Fortunately, most of these situations have been happily resolved. These requests have spurred us to contact veterinary colleges to find out who is working on health issues specially pertaining to the Yorkshire Terrier. So far, we have investigated treatment of liver shunts and collapsing tracheas. This will allow us to point owners in the right direction for health care.