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

October 2013



Recently, we received information from the AKC Canine Health Foundation’s campaign against Canine Cancer, and the YTCA Foundation decided to provide a grant in the amount of $10,000 to be equally divided between these two research projects:

1889-GDeveloping Markers to Diagnose and Guide Cancer Treatment in Golden Retrievers Based on Newly Discovered Heritable and Acquired Mutations


1918-GDiscovery of Novel Protein, Blood, and Epigenetic Biomarkers of Lymphoma Risk, Classification, and Prognosis in Golden Retrievers

See this website for more information:

This is the reason for our decision to fund a grant for Canine Cancer instead of other issues that involve the Yorkshire Terrier primarily:  the Foundation (as well as other organizations) have spent a lot of money in the past supporting grants that will never come to fruition, even though they are not button topics in our breed.  Breeders are fast becoming aware that only we can prevent the transmission of lethal genetic diseases by screening the best way we can.  Not only that, we must resist the temptation to breed a spectacular specimen of the breed even though it probably carries the deleterious genes.  The problems of liver diseases, GME, etc., begins and ends with us as we practice artificial selection through our breeding programs.

So where do we go from here?  Dr. Jerold Bell and other geneticists have pointed out that over 75 percent of the genes of all breeds are probably identical --- these are the genes that make the species Canis familiaris.  Only a small percentage of genes code for the characteristics of individual breeds, like the Yorkshire Terrier or Golden Retrievers.  Therefore when we support grants targeting other breeds, we are quite often really helping our own Yorkies too.  (see this website for more more information on the canine genome project)

Across the breeds, cancer is a huge problem --- the YTCAF has sponsored grants on lymphoma, etc. before.  One recent study from the UK found that almost 16% of canine deaths were due to cancer --- and this is twice the number of cardiac problems deaths.  A study from Denmark found virtually the same thing.  And the head of CHF has stated that almost one-third of senior dogs will die on cancer here in the U.S.  But now we have an opportunity to help not only dogs but ourselves!  The new AKC-CHF Canine Cancer initiative has as its researchers top scientists in genetic research and cancer.  This is one of the rare times when information is flowing both ways --- advances in human oncology are being used to help dogs AND vice versa.

We used to always hear of the “Big C” --- everyone thought that cancer was a specific disease caused a specific way.  Now we know that cancer simply means the uncontrolled growth of cells that no longer commit suicide when their programmed life span should end.  And this uncontrolled growth can occur anywhere in the body.  Some of this is caused by genetics, but most is caused by environmental factors that we have brought on ourselves and our dogs, the old “nature vs. nurture” debate.

So now the YTCA Foundation has an opportunity to be a small part of a really big picture to help dogs and their owners/breeders.  We should all join the fight and contribute to scientific endeavors that will benefit us all!

July 2013

Do you know how many teeth the normal adult dog has?  This was just one question in the quiz presented at the Welcome Party hosted by the YTCA Foundation on May 29th at the Central Florida Specialties.  There were twenty questions, and no one got them all correct.  Mary Ackerman, however, got the most correct answers and won the $100 prize.  A door prize of a gift card for Macy’s was also drawn and won by Laura Lombardo.  The Foundation also held a silent auction at the specialties and raised closed to $600 toward this year’s research studies.  A special Thank You to all who participated.

Foundation Board member, Cindy Garrett, orchestrated the event, supported by Linda Grimm, Doreen Hubbard, Deloras Maas, Suzette Heider and Gloria Robinson.  Talented people put together the decoration, a selection of wonderful food, and an open bar duly attended by a cocktail expert who made us all happy.

This was a first attempt for the Foundation to host such an event but several Board members decided to personally fund the party as a way of thanking Yorkie folk for contributing their time, effort and money to veterinary studies and research.  A storyboard was displayed showing the Foundation’s accomplishments over the last twenty years, and also provided an opportunity for Yorkie enthusiasts to voice their concerns.

Participant breeders/exhibiters were asked to give the YTCA Foundation a list of their suggested areas for further research support.  From the results, it appears that GME is very much one of the top concerns, followed by collapsing trachea, PLE, Legg Calves Perthes, and of course, the genetic marker for Liver Shunt.  As we have learned over the past several years, there is very little research being done on GME and collapsing trachea.  This is because these conditions are either terminal or untreatable, so researchers have little hope of being able to offer anything to the affected dogs.  In the past, the Foundation has supported research on PLE, Legg Calves Perthes and Liver Shunt, but so far nothing has come out of this research to really help either the dogs or the breeders.

As frustrating as this situation can be for everyone concerned, what the Foundation CAN do is to support research  that will make a difference in dogs’ lives.  Currently there is a major push in the U. S. to support veterinary research on canine cancer that kills almost 90 per cent of dogs affect by an illness.   Additionally what is discovered in canine research often helps humans too.  So we are actively looking at supporting some of this research for 2013.

Thank you to all who attended this event, and by the way, the normal adult dog as 42 teeth.

January 2013

Over the past twenty years, dog fanciers have taken a deeper look into the physical and neurological problems within their breeds.  Our Foundation funds research grants which look for the causes and solutions of problems within our breed --- problems that not only exist today but can affect the future health and welfare of our dogs.  One step at a time, one challenge at a time, we REACH FOR THE STARS.**

Each year, the Foundation evaluates grants and researches health issues that have so far escaped definitive causes and/or solutions.  These grants are reviewed by our Board members to determine which are the most beneficial to our breed.  The members carefully consider several factors in each grant in order to maximize research dollars.  They look first at the potential of the research to benefit Yorkshire Terriers in particular and all dogs in general.  Next, we consider the previous success of the research conducted by the principal investigators.  The Foundation also supports grants which help new veterinarians, veterinarian students and academicians get started in their chosen field of research.

Because one of the two grants we voted to sponsor this year was discontinued and we had a budget for two grants, the Grants Committee and the Board went back to the drawing board to see what else may be available and of interest.  We are pleased to announce that we have now agreed to sponsor:

0731Potential Association between altered gut microbiota and development of meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown etiology (MUE) in dogs

This grant is for $31,104 with AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF).  The Researcher is Nick Jeffery, BVSc, Iowa State University, and will run from January 1, 2013 to December 31, 2014.  It intends to benefit several breeds, including the Yorkshire Terrier.  This project is aimed at finding a cause of meningoencephalomyelitis of unknown etiology, otherwise known as ‘MUE’ which is a summary term for diseases such as ‘GME’.  This group of conditions cause serious neurologic disease in dogs, especially small breeds, including blindness, loss of balance, seizures and paralysis --- but the cause is currently unknown.  A recent experimental breakthrough has incriminated bacteria in the digestive system as triggers for a similar disease in laboratory mice and rats.  The main purpose of the project is to find out whether imbalances in the number or type of digestive system bacteria might also be a cause for MUE in dogs.  If it is true, it would open a whole new avenue of approach to treatment of affected dogs and might also produce information useful for treating neurologic disease in humans.  To carry out this investigation, the numbers will be compared as well as the type of bacteria with what they find in fecal samples from unaffected dogs.  Since they will be examining many dogs with MUE, they can ask their owners other questions about their dogs’ recent medications and medical history to determine whether there are other risk factors that might be associated with MUE.

This area of research is also under investigation by NC State and UFL because they, too, have found some evidence of bacterial association with MUE.  The researcher, Dr. Nicholas Jeffery, received his BVSc from the University of Bristol (1981) and his PhD from the University of Cambridge (1997) as well as numerous other Certificates and Diplomas.  Dr. Jeffery has been a lecturer and senior lecturer in Clinical Neurology at the University of Cambridge from 2000 and until 2011.  He was also their Professor of Veterinary Clinical Studies.  Currently, he is a Professor of Veterinary Clinical Science at Iowa State University.  His vitae is quite impressive and because this disease effects our breed, we have decided to lend our monetary support to the project.

The Foundation is very fortunate to have such a hard-working and dedicated TEAM.  Our Grants Committee is chaired by Jacqueline “Jackie” Spencer who is well versed in scientific research.  Jackie is an Assistant Professor of Biology with a background in animal behavior and comparative medicine research.  Besides teaching microbiology, she is currently working a National Science Foundation grant.  She tries to pair up the Yorkie health issue of most interest to breeders and owners with the current grants that need funding.  Besides looking at the search methodology for grants under consideration, she also looks into the background of the principal investigators to determine their previous research successes.

One of our newest board members, Cynthia “Cindy” Garrett has just completed an excellent article on the Foundation for Top Notch Toys magazine (TNT).  The issue highlights the Yorkshire Terrier.  Some of the excellent points she made are in this article are included here.  In conclusion, as Cindy put it so well, in the final analysis, our most important aspects are to continue research and find cures for the better health of the Yorkshire Terriers we all love.  For the love of the breed, let’s all Reach for the Stars!

**  Reaching for the Stars is one of our most successful annual projects.  Each level is determined by the donation.

   Diamond Star --- over $3,000
   Platinum Star --- $3,000 - $2,001
   Gold Star --- $2,000 - $1,001
   Silver Star --- $1,000 – $101
   Bronze Star $100 and under
Each donation of $100 or more receives a beautiful YTCAF pin.  For those interested in donating, please contact Gloria Robinson,, who most ably chairs this project and who designed the beautiful YTCAF pin.  Every dollar is a step toward a healthier future for our Yorkshire Terriers.