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Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (YTNR)

In 1997, MaryElizabeth Dugmore founded Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (YTNR). She started it per the request of the Yorkshire Terrier Club of America, but it became so big that she was asked to take it private. Now, 23 years later (and 4,000-plus little dogs re-homed), MaryElizabeth, our YTNR President, the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue Board, State Directors, volunteers, and our donors and supporters are still rescuing, treating, sponsoring, and finding forever homes for dogs in need.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue, a 501c(3), is more than a rescue group. It’s a group that brought together people from across the country with big hearts, a variety of skills, and wonderful qualities. We all share the same mission: To find every little dog the best possible home. MaryElizabeth and Corrine Ellison, our Vice President for Rescue Operations, our foster parents, and other volunteers work wonders with little Yorkshire Terriers in need. They accept dogs from shelters, as owner surrenders, from puppy mills or as lost animals without a safety net; often neglected and in need of medical care.

We have skilled fosters who work with dogs with special needs, dogs pre- and post-liver shunt surgery, and other general surgeries or in tracheal collapse. MaryElizabeth is also mentoring additional volunteers in the care for dogs [that are] in treatment for or post-liver shunt surgery. Over the past few years, we have also added a Pawspice program and assisted with providing end-of-life care for Yorkies in need of love and comfort.

As a rescue, we rely on donations and grants to support the care of the dogs for which we provide a second chance. We have monthly donors, other supporters who help out during times of acute need, and volunteer groups that help us raise money. Of note are our longtime supporters: Jackie and her team of volunteers who raise thousands of dollars a year for the care of our precious little pups; and Corrine’s doggie clothing line, which helps to line our pockets. We also have groups that recycle for support and an occasional online auction item. We are most grateful to also be supported by LIFELINE4PAWS for many of our major surgeries, and by local veterinarians from across the US who work with us to ease the pain and discomfort of so many ill or neglected animals. Despite the generosity of our donor base, we are a rescue and, thus, we continue to rely on donations and grants for all we do. We are always in need of more—to save one more. Our website,, shares information about our mission and the service that we provide. It also shares information regarding some of the ailments particular to Yorkies such as liver shunt, collapsing trachea, Legg-Perthes, and Yorkie encephalitis. It also shows off our available Yorkies and showcases some happy endings.

Twenty-Three years ago, MaryElizabeth had a vision and a dream to do better by Yorkshire Terriers. With hard work and dedication (and the support of an amazing community), she succeeded in bringing together this community that we call Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue. As a group, we have been witness to many success stories, of lives changed for both animals and people (who rescued who?), and we still rescue on—one animal at a time. We have all grown, changed, and adjusted (and we all keep growing), following our North Star. We remain connected and supportive in our chat room, on Facebook, through a lovely monthly newsletter, and through some personal calls and texts. We provide each other with support and advice regarding issues that our dogs (or we, ourselves) face, and we share helpful information amongst ourselves or with others who contact us for assistance. We are one big family, brought together by a very small breed (and we are sticking like glue) for the sake of every tenacious little Yorkie for whom we can provide a second change on health, well-being, and love.

The year 2020 brought us closer together in spirit, though we missed out on in-person get-togethers and our planned Nashville get together where many of us are able to share in the joys and sorrow of rescue, celebrate our successes and our Smoky Award winners (see feature in this issue), and replenish our hope and resilience through friendship and good times.

Amidst a year marked by a global pandemic, social unrest, and the harshness of nature, we all faced adjustments. Physical distancing, and fear for our health and the health of others, has isolated us from our typical ways of finding and providing support. Across our country, animals were adopted in higher numbers from shelters and rescues while YTNR also cautiously continued with intakes and placements—and honoring our mission to provide a safety net for Yorkshire Terriers in need.

We will remember 2020 as a year when COVID-19 raged through our communities, but also as a WIN-WIN year for both adopters and adoptees. There is no substitute for the unconditional love of a Yorkie amidst a crisis. As fellow animal lovers, we rescue on, love on, and celebrate every life saved—as illustrated by a few heartwarming stories that follow.


Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue

Smoky was a four-pound Yorkie that was found in an abandoned foxhole in New Guinea in early 1944 by a soldier whose jeep had stalled in the jungle. The next day, the Yorkie was sold for two Australian pounds ($6.44) to 20-year-old Private First-Class Bill Wynne. Bill and Smoky flew combat missions and went through many air raids together. She lived on rugged army tropical food, including, at times, C and K rations, while they served 18 months straight in combat. They traveled 40,000 miles overseas. One of the highlights of the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue Annual Gathering is the announcement of the winners of the yearly Smoky Awards. All of our rescues are special, and we like to acknowledge them and their rescue stories. All rescues adopted between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020 were eligible for nomination.

Since new people have joined our great group, it might be fitting to retell the story of WHO the Smoky of the “Smoky Award” is. We turned to Bill Wynne whose heart was stolen over 60 years ago by his four-pound Yorkie, Smoky—his angel in a foxhole.

When Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue was planning its very first Rescue Ball in 1999, the first thing that came to mind was creating a special award for the Yorkie Rescue of the Year. It seemed logical to name the award after Bill Wynne’s world-famous rescue Yorkie. After nominations came in, it quickly became clear that each story was special and touching. Each rescue is a great rescue, just as Smoky was. She started a movement, in rescue, in therapy, and in obedience that showed people what a four-pound dynamo can do. We receive many nominations each year, and it is never easy to narrow the field. Each dog has its own story that ends, fortunately, happily with a new and loving forever family. Some of these little dogs are senior citizens; some have health issues that require ongoing care; some never knew human love before; some were strays; and some came from families that loved them, but could no longer care for them.


by Kendra Beale

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueHi! I am a three-year-old Yorkie. My name has changed several times (Pogo/Bentley) because the start of my life was a bit rough. My mom tells me she changed my name shortly after she adopted me because she felt like it would be a great new start for the beautiful life we were going to share. I am pleased to introduce myself, I’m Henry or Oh Henry. I used to need a wheel cart for my back legs, which the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue paid for through donations; thank you from the bottom of my heart. The Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue also gave me the most amazing foster family that took such great, loving care of me that I don’t need the wheel cart anymore. I was super attached to my foster dad, Steve Beck, because he was an extra special human who loved me so much until my fur-ever mom adopted me. I think of my foster family often and will never forget how they brought me into their home and healed me in many ways.

Now I have my new mom who treats me like her only child. She lets me sleep in the bed with her and take up more room than any dog my size could ever need. She has taken me to doctors like a neurologist, plus a world-renowned therapist to make sure I have the best care because of my prior injury. We wish that we knew what happened to my spine, but when I
arrived at the rescue (I was in the rescue more than once) my medical records had been lost. But it is okay. Now I run super-fast up the stairs in my new house, and I love going on long walks with no problems at all. I live with my mom and my grandparents who are 88 and 91 years old. (They are the oldest humans I have ever seen.) I stay out from under their feet because I don’t want to trip them; yeah for me! I have a wonderful aunt who comes to see me, just me, once or twice a week, and she gives me tons
of attention.

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueI love my fur-ever family because of the way they treat me, I feel like the most important one in the house. My mom takes me everywhere, so I have seen lots of neat places. In addition, I get to sleep on her lap all day long while she works. I was even on a Zoom meeting! I am pretty attached to her. If she leaves the house, my grandmother tells her that I just lay on the ground facing the door waiting for her to come home. My favorite toy and blankie came from my foster family. They ensure that I never forget how they provided endless love while dealing with my special needs. My mom bought me a stroller. So, when my back legs start to get tired during our walks, I still get to stroll with her to see the views. I have a BFF named Oscar. He is much older than me and is having a lot of medical issues. This is why I try not to be too hyper around him. But, when I go to visit him, I can tell he is happy to see me.

My life before my new fur-ever home had a lot of moves. I think I’ve lived in Tennessee, Indiana, Los Angeles, and in the desert in California. I now live in Southern California in a city by the ocean. I have walked on the sand at the beach, but have not ventured into the water because it looks scary. Life is great for me and I am so grateful for the Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue for helping me find my fur-ever mom. She tells me all day long how much she loves me. My heart is full—just like my belly. I didn’t let the past change me into a grumpy dog. Nope, I am always super friendly and loving. I hope that I win this award not for me (or even for my fur-ever mom) but for my foster family, Steve Beck and family. I want them to know that I know that they were there when I needed someone to care for my special needs. I will always be indebted to them for their kindness, and I will never, ever forget them.

Sincerely, Pogo/Bentley and, finally, Henry

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue



by Sally Reboul

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueMy precious Ellie (formerly Bella) came to me on January 1, 2020, an unsightly, matted, and smelly mess. Her previous owner said that she had gotten her as a pup, but she soon became too busy with children, career, and then a divorce. This left her with neither the energy nor the time to care for Ellie properly. I understand that these things happen in life, so I was relieved to receive Ellie into rescue. When asked how long Ellie had been left to her own devices, I was informed it had been 11 years and, you guessed it, Ellie was 11 years old.

I finished my business with the previous owner and put Ellie in my car. Honestly, she smelled so bad my eyes and nose were running. Nevertheless, I had to take her out of her crate and just hold her for a moment. I expected a hyper, overly excited and out-of-control little dog, given the level
of neglect. Instead, as soon as I put her in my arms, she relaxed as if to say, “This is all I need.”

I got her home and immediately gave her a warm bath. Unfortunately, one bath was not enough to quell the stink from 11 years spent living in her own urine and feces. So, a second bath was necessary. In the meantime, my husband was washing out her crate, putting her blanket in a hot water and bleach wash, and throwing out her “food.” I don’t know what they were feeding her, but it smelled as bad as she did. Because her hair was long and matted, I dried her with the blow dryer as best I could and cut out the giant mats in her coat. She looked dreadful, but at least she was clean, warm, and
safe now.

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueThe next order of business was to make sure this little one ate something healthy. I gave her some wet food with just a little kibble mixed in. She smelled the food and was excited about it, but she began to fiddle about the bowl. She’d lick at it, step back a few paces, and then give it another go. I thought, “What a peculiar way of eating,” and continued about my business. When I picked her and the
still-full bowl up, I knew instantly what the problem was. Ellie had an absolutely appalling odor emanating from her mouth. In my haste to get her cleaned and fed, I neglected to look inside her mouth. There weren’t too many teeth in there, but what was there was completely covered in plaque, with the unmistakable odor of infection. The dental disease
was rampant.

I reached out to Ellie’s former veterinarian to get her medical records, and they told me that in the past seven years, she had been in for nail clips three times. That’s it! No shots, no dentals, no wellness checks, no blood work, no nothing! My blood was boiling—and my heart was broken.

Of course, I brought Ellie to my vet ASAP and gave her the limited information we had. The outcome was better than I thought it would be. She was in remarkably good health despite the level of neglect she’d suffered, but only one tooth could be saved. The vet said that her dental disease and infection was so great that she was, undoubtedly, in considerable pain. This explained the dancing around her food bowl; poor baby wanted to eat, but it was just too painful.

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueI brought her home to convalesce from the dental and shots so that she could go to a good home, both happy and healthy. But… this isn’t exactly what happened. Once we began living our day-to-day life, Ellie was beginning to fit in—in a way that I’d never imagined. We developed our routine of sleeping, waking, taking medicine, eating, grooming, and playing with our 40-pound Poodle mix, Millie. In the evenings, she’d sit quietly on my lap while I watched television and crocheted. Occasionally, she would lick my chin and ask for me to hold her tightly. I couldn’t resist. All she wanted was to be as close to my husband and I as she could. And, just to make matters more impossible for me to resist, since all but one tooth was removed, her tongue hung out on the left side of her mouth. It just doesn’t get any cuter than that!

Adorableness is wonderful, but there was something else happening here. We were bonding. Ellie became my shadow and my “mini-me.” I found that I couldn’t leave the house without her. We went to the grocery, the bank, the hairdresser’s, Hobby Lobby and, of course, Petco. She went everywhere with me. I even asked my doctor if I could bring her with me for my check-up. She said no—but I had to try, right? The more time that we spent together, the more I just knew I couldn’t be without her. So, I approached my husband to talk with him about the possibility of adopting Ellie, and this turned out to be a gigantic waste of time—in the best possible way. My husband could see what was happening and knew we couldn’t be apart.

The more time that we spent together, the more I just knew I couldn’t be without her.

It’s almost nine months later… I didn’t think it was possible, but I love my Ellie more every day. As I write this, she is in one of her many beds on top of my desk, helping me. She is my joy, my partner-in-crime, and my best buddy. She owns my heart and has trained me very well. I’m so grateful that she rescued me.


by Mary Prebys

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueIt was an early Christmas morning when, after 25 years of waiting and begging, Mary Prebys was FINALLY granted permission to adopt a dog. That’s right, for 9,125 days, Mary had been begging her mom to let her adopt a dog and, finally, she was given the “ok.” It was the best Christmas present—but this wasn’t just a Christmas present. Mary was given the gift of adopting a best friend after so long. Now, the fun part… to find the right one for her!

She had already done extensive research on various ways to find an adoptable dog, one of which included the app Petfinder. She quickly found and fell in love with a little man in a bowtie named Curly. His Petfinder bio described how he was abandoned with his sister and mother after his owner went into hospice care, and the people who were supposed to take care of them left them for months on end. Mary’s heart broke for this little cutie and she immediately filled out an application with Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue.

Within a few days, Mary heard from Jackie Wolfe and scheduled a phone interview. This was it, it was happening! She was so nervous for this phone interview that she almost forgot to introduce herself to Jackie! But, Jackie was kind and understanding, and she listened to Mary explain her current living situation and why she wanted to specifically adopt Mr. Curly. Jackie must have been able to tell how much Mary wanted to meet Curly because they were able to schedule a home visit for later that week. This was Mary’s first-ever home visit with a rescue, and she was very nervous.

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueWhen the day rolled around, a cold, dark Wednesday morning in early January, she was running around the house preparing; making sure all of her paperwork was in place, that the house was clean and impressive (so Curly could see himself living there), getting some treats ready for him, even setting up his bowls, toys, and bed area. Curly came in with Jackie, and his foster mom and he immediately jumped on the couch and sat down. A little nervous and apprehensive of this new environment and the strange people who kept looking at him, Mr. Curly stuck close to his
foster mom. However, after a tour of the house—and a few treats—Curly allowed his future mom to hold him, and that is when Mary knew that this was her dog. Letting him go (and buckling him into Jackie’s car) was very difficult for Mary, but she did it. She thanked Jackie and Curly’s foster mom, Michelle, and said goodbye to Mr. Curly—hopefully not for long. Mary was texting Michelle all day, checking in on Curly to see how he was doing. She anxiously awaited any news from Jackie to learn if she could call Curly her own.

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueIt turns out, Jackie could tell how much Mary loved Curly and, even though another family was interested in him as well (who wouldn’t be?!) Jackie gave Mary the greatest call of her life. She said that Mary could adopt Curly and be his new forever mom. She was so excited!! Jackie, Michelle, and Mary coordinated and, just 48 hours after meeting him, Mary was able to take him back to his forever home on Friday, January 10th 2020!! She and her mom, the only people in the house at the time (pre-COVID), went immediately to Petco so that Curly could pick out his new bed and treats. Even though he was so nervous just a few days prior, he sat on his new mommy’s lap the whole day!

Having gone through so much (most of which we don’t even know), Curly was understandably anxious to get to his new home and get settled. It really only took a few days for him to make himself at home, and even shorter to claim his favorite couch spot. And, as they say, the rest is history.

Yorkshire Terrier National RescueEvery day with Curly, Mary is still just so surprised and cannot understand how she got so lucky to be with such a sweet, cuddly, kind little doggie. Curly has the kindest heart of any animal (and most humans) that Mary’s ever known. He is so protective of his family and gets very upset when he thinks something is wrong with his mom. For example, Mary got sick in early February and, even though they had barely known each other a month, Curly stayed and cuddled his mom until she felt better. He continues to be glued to his mom’s side and even refuses to let her go to the bathroom alone.

Curly’s Petfinder bio said that he was a “fun little man” and this would be the perfect way to describe this cutie. He loves attention and belly rubs and, if he cannot see his mommy, he WILL go find her. (He LOVES quarantine!!) Since he is a bit older (the vet says about 7 or 8 years old) he likes to be lazy and cuddle with his mom on the couch while she works or watches TV. One of his FAVORITE things is going with his mommy to Starbucks to see his friends and, maybe, even get a “pupichino!”

There is so much that goes into what makes Curly the most incredible dog that it cannot all be explained in 1,000 words. But, he has truly been such a gift to Mary and his new family

There is so much that goes into what makes Curly the most incredible dog that it cannot all be explained in 1,000 words. But, he has truly been such a gift to Mary and his new family. They are all incredibly thankful for YTNR, Jackie, Michelle, and everyone who helped bring this little bundle of joy into their lives. After 25 years, it was definitely worth the wait because now, Mary has the most perfect best friend for herself that she will treasure for the rest of their lives.

YTNR is looking forward to our 24th year in rescue, to the work of saving, rehabilitating, and finding forever homes for these Yorkies. We will continue to give them HOPE…


Every year we honor one of our volunteers for the exceptional work they have done and the dedication they have shown in rescuing these little dogs. This year, we have two exceptional people who have gone above and beyond to help save and rehabilitate these little dogs.

Introducing, Stephen Beck and Hannelie Vermeulen:


Yorkshire Terrier National RescueStephen Beck became a volunteer and offered to foster one of our Special Needs Yorkies. In fact, this little rescue was voted “Yorkie Rescue of the Year.”

When Pogo/Henry came to YTNR, he could not walk. We do not know what happened to Henry. When YTNR approached Stephen and explained that we had a Special Needs Dog that could not walk without a cart, he immediately replied that he would foster him. Stephen worked with Henry, and the end result is that Henry can walk and run up stairs. It was a miracle. No, it was Stephen’s exceptional work and devotion to this dog and the love that he had for him. We are forever grateful to Stephen for what he did; the end result, Henry was adopted to a wonderful home and is very much loved. Please read his story in the article. We are honored to name Stephen Beck as Dugmore Rescuer of the Year 2020.

Thank you, Stephen,
and congratulations!


Yorkshire Terrier National RescueHannelie has been with YTNR as a volunteer for a very long time. She has been an outstanding volunteer from the first day she joined our organization. She has served on the YTNR Board of Directors and has supported our Yorkie Rescue Gatherings in Nashville by participating in all aspects of organizing and presenting all the things that go into making a successful and fun convention for our volunteers and helpers. She has provided food, decorations, musicians, and lively conversations, bringing us closer together and inspiring us forward into each new year. She has consistently supported and written educational and interesting articles for our Yorkie Times monthly newsletter (involving friends and family worldwide to send pictures and clips of their lives), uniting us in a larger scale of camaraderie, and inspiring us to be kind in our daily lives.

At her home in Oregon, she has organized volunteers to help raise funds for the rising cost of medical expenses needed to help our little doggies become healthy enough to go on to their forever homes. She has grown a family of adoptive families and volunteers, all dedicated to doing our best and doing it together.

Hannelie never does anything without a smile on her face and a song in her heart. She has a special gift of lifting spirits and inspiring us forward, even on the darkest of days. For all of these reasons (and many more that I’ve certainly left out) we are honored to name her our Dugmore Yorkie Rescuer of the Year 2020.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue is looking forward to our 24th year in rescue, to the work of saving, rehabilitating, and finding forever homes for these Yorkies. We will continue to give them HOPE… Hope is defined as a feeling that what one desires will happen.

We wish to thank each and every one for their generous support of Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue. The work that we do cannot be done without your loyal support.