Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue – Saving Yorkies for 25 Years

Yorkshire Terrier that was saved by Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue

Yorkies have universal appeal. These spunky, tenacious little terriers capture the hearts of everyone from suburban families to city apartment dwellers, and even burly “tough-guy” sportsmen. But as desirable as they are, they sometimes find themselves in need of rescuing. The often-horrendous situations found in most puppy mills, owners who pass away or cannot afford expensive but necessary medical treatments, and even lost, stolen, or runaway pets can all result in animals that need our help. That’s where Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (YTNR) comes in.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue

The year 2022 marked the 25th anniversary of the founding of YTNR by Mary Elizabeth Dugmore who was devoted to meeting the needs of displaced Yorkshire Terriers. As the 501 (c)(3) rescue organization grew, it continued its mission to cultivate a community of diverse, yet passionate, volunteers who work tirelessly, year-round, for these feisty, affectionate, and personable pets.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue
Momma ‘Abby’ and Her Babies. She came into YTNR pregnant.

Like most rescue organizations, Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue depends on dedicated volunteers to raise money for medical care and treatment, foster the Yorkies who come into their care, assess each pet’s needs and personalities so that appropriate homes can be identified, and provide the leadership, administrative, and communication support the organization requires to operate.

Additionally, Mary Elizabeth and the YTNR Board Members serve as leaders who educate and mentor the community regarding specialized medical conditions that can plague the breed, including liver shunt, collapsed tracheas, hypoglycemia, luxating patellas, Yorkie Necrotizing Encephalopathy (YNE), and other serious and often expensive disorders.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue
‘Polly’ is now living her best life in her ‘furever’ home, thanks to YTNR and her adoptive family.

COVID created novel challenges for rescue organizations. Lockdowns disrupted regular intake and transfer processes and protocols, and travel restrictions hampered transport efforts. This resulted in fewer rescue animals coming into the care of YTNR. However, numbers climbed throughout 2022, and the need for donations, volunteers, transport, and foster families is returning to pre-COVID levels.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue invests time, effort, and money into each Yorkie that comes into its care. YTNR partners with Lifeline 4 Paws and local veterinary clinicians around the country to provide initial exams and essential medical care. Most of the dogs need spay or neuter surgeries. These are responsible, humane, and necessary practices to help reduce the number of unwanted pets. They also microchip each animal in the unlikely event that it ever becomes lost or stolen.

Many rescued animals have been neglected, some are injured, and others are abused. Medical exams may reveal diseases, disorders, injuries, and neglected conditions requiring additional surgeries, teeth-cleaning, or advanced medical care. Sometimes, these precious little ones are deemed to be unadoptable due to advanced age, medical condition, or terminal illness. These cases comprise the “Pawspice” group, for which YTNR assumes the expenses related to their care throughout the remainder of their lives. The adjacent chart details some of the costs of rescue and how adoption fees help to defer those costs.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue

To date, YTNR has rescued, re-homed, and cared for over 4,000 dogs in need. The costs associated with the care of each of these (and future) dogs are covered by donations, sponsorships, grants, and adoption fees. Higher fees for younger, healthier dogs help to defer the costs of caring for the older or sicker ones. Each adoption fee is an investment in saving not only that animal but also many more.

Adoptive families consider this a donation to the cause of rescue that is so near-and-dear to this community’s heart. These families become valued members of the community, often keeping YTNR apprised of the lives of their pets through letters, photos, the monthly newsletter “Yorkie Times,” social media, and their email group called “YorkieSpice,” which provides education, fellowship, and support.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue
left to right: ‘Sophie Rose’ Adoption Day, After One Day in a New Home, 15 Months Later in a National Magazine
Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue is more than a rescue group—it is a community that cares for animals and for one another. They need your support, and there are many ways you can help:


You can make a one-time or recurring donation through PayPal, check, or credit card. Donations are tax-deductible and ensure that this life-saving work can continue.


This is a crucial component of rescuing animals. Rescue groups must have individuals and families willing to open their homes and hearts to prepare animals to move on to their “furever” homes. Yes, this is a sacrifice. Some believe they can’t do it because they think they can’t let the dogs go after having cared for them.

Personally, this author used to feel the same way. But once I finally agreed to be a foster mom, I realized that I could help many more animals. By putting my feelings of loss aside, I discovered the rich reward that comes when I find the perfect home for one of the precious Yorkies I helped to nurture. I simply can’t adopt them all. And I know that I make a greater impact by fostering.


Rescue groups often need to move an animal from one place to another. Foster families may be several states away from where the animal currently resides. Transporting them can ensure they get the vital help they so desperately need.

Fund-Raise and Support Those Efforts

Volunteers are creative souls! They often develop innovative and original ways to raise money for YTNR. Some of those methods include making and selling apparel, bedding, home accessories, or Christmas ornaments, etc. A noted musician, Stephanie Chapman, has made her CD available through YTNR’s marketplace, the Yorkie Boutique. Other volunteers have represented YTNR at conferences, seminars, or other events.

Don’t Buy from Pet Stores

Many pet stores get their animals from puppy mills. A critical component of ending puppy mill breeding is halting the demand for the animals they generate. Puppy mills notoriously have no regard for responsible breeding, ignore genetic health traits, may mistreat and abuse their breeding stock, and can produce animals with painful, severe health issues that cost families and rescue groups money.

Amazon Smile

Designate YTNR as the recipient of your Amazon Smile account. A portion of everything you buy through this program will benefit the charity of your choice. Let YTNR be that choice for you.

Volunteer Your Talents

What skills do you possess that can help Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue? Maybe you are a gifted leader, writer, fund-raiser, organizer, or administrator. Perhaps you are a private pilot who can transport. Are you a veterinarian who can provide free or low-cost services? What about a talented teacher/educator who will impart knowledge about the world of rescuing animals? Are you a PR professional who can communicate the worthwhile message of rescue? We all have skills and gifts that could greatly enhance the lives of animals that will most assuredly benefit from what you have to offer.

Adopt a Rescue

Instead of shopping for a puppy, why not give a rescue animal a loving home? There are millions of pets around the world in need, and there is something uniquely touching about the love and bond that forms between a rescue animal and its rescuer. The pets seem to innately know that you have done something miraculous.

Imagine giving a neglected, abandoned, lost, or surrendered—and always scared—animal, not only a home but hope. And please consider adopting a senior animal. Make their last few years happy ones. Give them the gift of love and care when so many others will not. Yes, you won’t have them for as long, but you will gain so much more than you lose.

Instead of shopping for a puppy, why not give a rescue animal a loving home? There are millions of pets around the world in need, and there is something uniquely touching about the love and bond that forms between a rescue animal and its rescuer.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue
‘Libby’ is an adorable 14-year-old sweetheart, now available for adoption. An 8-pound dream of a pet, she is looking for a family to see her through the rest of her golden years.

Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (YTNR) is an essential organization in the world of rescue and welcomes new members who share their heart for helping this remarkable breed. Can you find it in your heart to join them? They look forward to meeting you and sharing their love for Yorkies with you. You have something to offer YTNR and their rescues, and you will gain so much in return.