Our Most Successful Barkfest at Bonhams!

This year’s Barkfest at Bonhams charity brunch was a wonderful success! Well surpassing last year’s turnout, there were over 200 patrons in attendance. Guests enjoyed brunch and beautiful art while mingling with fellow dog lovers. We saw more dogs this year including a special appearance from the 2013 AKC Eukanuba National Championship Best in Show Winner, GCH CH Claircreek Impression de Matisse, a Portuguese Water Dog known as "Matisse". We will continue to encourage the public to join us on this special occasion with their pets and look forward to an even greater event in 2015. Thank you to all who helped support the AKC Humane Fund’s mission to unite animal lovers and promote the joy and value of responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and grant making. See photos from the event here.

AKC Humane Fund Theatre Benefit Recap

The AKC Humane Fund Theatre Benefit was a musical delight as guests enjoyed a special performance of the Tony Award-winning show, Kinky Boots, followed by a fabulous after-show dinner. Due to popular demand, additional tickets were purchased to accommodate over 230 of our treasured supporters. With great surprise, over 20 Kinky Boots cast and crew members joined in on the cocktail hour and dinner event making for a spectacular evening for all. With all proceeds going to the AKC Humane Fund, we are grateful to all who could attend and contribute to bettering the lives of our beloved pets. See photos from the event here.

Remembering Michael J. Sauve

In tribute to a great figure of the dog show fancy, the 2013 Michael J Sauve Benefit in Orlando Florida raised nearly twenty thousand dollars for the AKC Humane Fund. Thanks to Peggy Hauck for organizing and hosting this terrific annual event. Make it part of your trip to the AKC Eukanuba National Championship next year! Watch the Michael J Sauve Benefit page on Facebook for information about the event in 2014.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

The AKC Humane Fund is proud to provide grants to domestic abuse shelters that accept pets and to pet shelters with relationships with domestic violence shelters.

Each day in October, we will be posting on our Facebook page a statistic regarding domestic violence and pets or a personal quote from one of our grant recipients. We invite you to ‘like’ and ‘share’ these posts to widen the awareness of this important issue.

If you or someone you know is interested in applying for our Women’s Shelter Grant, please send them to the application at http://images.akc.org/humane_fund/GrantApp_Women.pdf.

Thank you for your continued support!

Announcement of the 2013 John D. Spurling OBE Scholarship Recipients

Each year, the American Kennel Club’s Humane Fund honors five distinguished students pursuing degrees related to advancing responsible pet ownership through the John D. Spurling Scholarship. This year’s entrants made judging decidedly difficult as there were many students with excellent academic credentials and outstanding experience. The following individuals, however, stood out from the rest, exhibiting unique qualities and traits that will assuredly further their professional careers in enhancing the human-animal bond.

The hours and varying types of volunteer work performed by Shelby Brown of Methuen, MA were distinctly admirable factors in considering the bright University of Massachusetts (Amherst) student as one of the five honored recipients. An animal science major with the intent of becoming a veterinarian, Shelby has spent over three years as a volunteer of the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA) and has fostered injured, orphaned, and sick kittens that come in to the MSPCA during the spring and summer months. She has also volunteered time at the Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society’s feral cat spay-and-neuter clinics, assisting veterinarians with various aspects of surgery. Additionally, Shelby spent time at the Ironstone Farm, assisting in therapy rides for children that are differently-disabled. Her real world experience and hands-on approach can be summed up by her following words: "It is my personal belief that simply offering aid to animals is not enough to create change in the way animals are treated in today’s society. I believe that through the education of the public, great change can be enacted that will better the lives of animals worldwide." Shelby is among the class of 2016 graduates and also minors in Spanish.

Thomas J. Caltabilota of Opelika, AL is currently studying for his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Tuskegee School of Veterinary Medicine. Along with the John D. Spurling Scholarship, he is also a recipient of the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program and one of five students from Tuskegee to receive a complimentary trip to this year’s Veterinary Internal Medicine Forum in Seattle, WA. Thomas began working with thoroughbred horses at a local racetrack by the age of 16. A year prior, he lost his older brother, Frank, to a college dorm fire. He reflected on the incident by stating that, "In a time of grief, when it seemed like my life had been tossed up into the air and in free-fall, these animals grounded me and helped me cope." Thomas is the current Vice President of the Macon County Humane Society and among his various educational experiences is an externship at the largest animal hospital in America, the Animal Medical Center in New York. His research papers have also been published in several medical journals in the field of endocrinology and reproduction. He had received his Bachelors of Science from Rutgers University in Animal Science, and is projected to receive his DVM in 2014.

From Greensboro, NC is Keandra J’Nai Howard who will be attending Cornell University this fall. With a 4.0 GPA from Southeast Guilford High School and ranking of fifth among a class of 317, academia is certainly a strong point for this aspiring veterinarian. A member of Future Farmers of America and an AKC dog handler, she and her mother currently have two male French Bulldogs and plan on purchasing a bitch when they find the right one. "Because we want to expand our ‘show home’ and have our own kennel in the future, my course work pertaining to animal reproduction and development will help us prepare to breed our dogs and properly care for the dam and her pups after birth," Keandra explained. In the future, she would like to be a guest speaker at AKC dog shows, particularly for Junior Handlers as she recognizes that they are the future of the sport. Keandra has also volunteered at her local veterinary hospital and currently working as a kennel assistant.

Amy Pauline McBirney credits much of her passion and inspiration in caring for animals to her family. The dairy farm her mother grew up on and that her grandfather managed on the island of Barbados foreshadowed her future involvement in 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Of Morgan Hill, CA and years of raising various types of domestic and farm animals under her belt, it does not seem surprising that Amy is on the pre-vet track at California Polytechnic State University (San Luis Obispo), with the intent of opening a mixed animal practice. A consistent 4.0 GPA in her first two years of undergrad do not belittle the importance she places on hands-on experience. "I currently dedicate my vacation time to working with the veterinarians at the large animal vet clinic close to my home and have realized the great importance of real-life exposure to veterinary medicine. I take joy in helping both the customers and their animals, whether it be by scrubbing a wound site on an injured horse or by making conversation with the owner as I help the veterinarian draw up medication for routine vaccinations," she commented.

Brooke E. Appleton of Albany, GA rounds out the recipients for 2013. An incoming freshman at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College with a concentration in biology, Brooke aspires to become a veterinarian and one day, even open a private dog park. She shares that, "As a veterinarian I want to be someone who is personable and professional with all my clients and caring for all my patients. I want to be a vet who doesn’t just treat the symptoms. I want to try to find a solution." She has competed in AKC Junior Showmanship and agility events, and assisted with The Albany Kennel Club’s annual dog show. Brooke also saved to acquire and care for her own quarter horse. She currently works at the Yellow Dog Kennel as office manager and groomer, and volunteers at The Parks at Chehaw.

Shelters save lives of domestic violence victims and their pets with help of Humane Fund Grant

Among the scope of the AKC Humane Fund's reach is the support of shelters for abused women with pets. This grant category in particular has received increased attention due to the specificity and unique need of its recipients. "Lollipop Farm," the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, and The Shade Tree Shelter's "Noah's Animal House," are two recipients that have recently shared input on the impact the grants have made in helping their communities.

Cathie Wright of Lollipop Farm, which accepts animals on behalf of owners who are no longer able to care for them, stated that, "AKC grant funds were used to help offset the cost of food and shelter provided for thirty six pets in 2012 whose owners were suffering from domestic abuse." Wright continued by saying, "In turn, these efforts ultimately saved lives, reassuring abuse victims that the one thing in their life providing comfort and unconditional love-their pet-will not be lost to them."

Similarly, Noah's Animal House was created for the shelter of pets belonging to the clients of The Shade Tree's women's shelter. Alicia Richter of the Las Vegas-based organization shared that the Humane Fund grant provided "aid in sustaining long-term impact in the local community by helping abused women and children with pets leave violent and abusive living situations because they can now take their beloved pet with them when they come to The Shade Tree." Executive director Marlene Richter imparted further upon their mission by stating, "The clients are provided with the necessities of life and the tools to help them repair their lives and to start on the path to self-reliance."

The AKC Humane Fund looks forward to sharing continued updates from its grant recipients, and invites all other organizations who qualify for and are in financial need of assistance to apply via our Grant page.

The 2013 ACE Nominations are now open!

To celebrate the life-changing and important ways that dogs impact our lives, the AKC Humane Fundsm is once again seeking nominations for its AKC Humane Fund Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE). ACE nominations are open to all dogs, including purebreds and mixed-breeds. The submission deadline is June 1, 2013.

Each of the five honorees will receive an engraved sterling silver medallion and an all-expenses-paid trip for dog and owner to Orlando, Fla., to be honored at the thirteenth annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship in December 2013. A donation of $1,000 will also be made in each recipient’s name to a pet-related charity.

The Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch

It was a celebration of canines and creativity at the annual AKC Barkfest at Bonhams on Sunday, February 10, 2013. Guests previewed artwork from Dogs in Show and Field: The Fine Art Sale, some accompanied with their own four-legged companions. All proceeds benefited the AKC Humane Fund, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charity that promotes responsible dog ownership through education, outreach and grant-making.

View Photos from the 2013 Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch.

Theater Benefit a Resounding Success

Not even blustery Nemo could stop the show from going on as guests came out to enjoy and support the annual theater benefit for the AKC Humane Fund on Friday, February 8, 2013. The evening began with the Broadway performance of Nice Work If You Can Get It, followed with a star-studded after-show dinner at The 21 Club. Thanks to the generosity of PetPartners, Inc., 100% of ticket sales directly benefited the AKC Humane Fund. Special thanks to everyone who attended, further supporting the joy and mission of responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and grant-making.

The Sandy Fund

After the recent devastation in the northeast caused by Hurricane Sandy, the AKC Humane Fund has created the "Sandy Fund" to assist organizations that provide support and services for dogs and owners faced with the challenges of natural disaster.

"The AKC Humane Fund is greatly saddened by the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy," said Dennis Sprung, Chairman and President of the AKC Humane Fund, Inc. "The creation of the Sandy Fund will help us do everything we can to assist companion animals and their owners in the region during this trying time and in any future disasters."

The "Sandy Fund" will allow AKC clubs and affiliated organizations to provide assistance for pets and their owners in their own communities during a time of disaster. The new Fund’s first donation was made to the Staten Island Companion Dog Training Club to aid their relief efforts in Staten Island, New York. Clubs interested in applying for a grant to assist local disaster relief outreach should complete the application here: Sandy Fund Grant Application.

Anyone interested in donating to the Sandy Fund please donate here and mark your donation as for the Sandy Fund.

Below are some past AKC Humane Fund events. We thank all our members for *****************your support at these events and all year round. *****************

The Michael J. Sauve Memorial Benefit

The 2nd Annual Michael J. Sauve Memorial Benefit was held on Thursday, December 13th, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. The event was filled with food, entertainment, raffles, auctions, and prizes. A fabulous night enjoyed by all!

The Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch

View photos from the 2012 Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch!

Hundreds of dog lovers and art aficionados enjoyed a wonderful morning at the AKC Barkfest at Bonhams on Sunday, February 12. The event supported the AKC Humane Fund, Inc. a 501(c)(3) charity that promotes responsible dog ownership through education and grantmaking.

2011 AKC Humane Fund Benefit

On February 11, 2011, guests of the annual Humane Fund Theater Benefit enjoyed an action-packed performance of Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark, followed by an after-show party at the 21 Club. Much appreciation goes towards the support of everyone who came out for a fantastic night!

Special thanks to Pet Partners, Inc., Your Partner in Pet Health Care, which enabled 100% of proceeds to go towards the AKC Humane Fund.

Katie Up and Down the Hall Book Launch Party Benefits AKC Humane Fund

The AKC Humane Fund and AKC Canine Health Foundation Provided Support towards the Mean Seeds Project

The AKC Humane Fund, Inc. and its members were proud to join the AKC Canine Health Foundation in jointly providing financial support towards the Mean Seeds Project conducted by Professor Bill Lauenroth from the University of Wyoming. This project examined the problem of grass awn disease in dogs and the use of barbed awns in conservation program reserve lands. Whether participating in field events or simply enjoying the great outdoors with one’s dog, everyone should learn about the dangers of grass awns to dogs.

Dogs, Dickens and Delectables at the Barkfest at Bonhmans

The 2010 Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch was a smashing success! Click here to view photos!

Any dog lover, fine art enthusiast, or classic literature buff got a real thrill at this year’s Barkfest at Bonhams. Coinciding with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show February 14th from 10am to 12pm, the annual Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch for the AKC Humane Fund featured a dog collar belonging to Victorian literary great, Charles Dickens. Or belonging to one of his beloved canine companions, that is! The collar was likely worn by one of Dickens’s Newfoundlands, Mastiffs, or St. Bernards.

Dogs figured prominently in several of Dickens’s novels. There was Bull’s-eye, the vicious but ever-loyal sidekick of the brutal Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist. Dora Splendow, David Copperfield’s child bride, was inseparable from her dog, Jip. Dickens’s own dogs may be less well-known, but it makes sense that the man who created such memorable canine characters in his fiction would have surrounded himself with dogs in life, and in turn, surrounded his dogs with genuine affection.

He sometimes described his dogs – their personalities and antics – in humorous detail in his correspondences. In a letter to the wife of his publisher, upon returning home from an overseas trip in 1868, Dickens wrote:

"The two Newfoundland dogs, coming to meet me with the usual carriage and the usual driver, and beholding me coming in my usual dress out at the usual door, it struck me that their recollection of my having been absent for any unusual time was at once cancelled. They behaved (they are both young dogs) exactly in their usual manner; coming behind the basket phaeton as we trotted along, and lifting up their heads to have their ears pulled – a special attention which they receive from no one else. But when I drove into the stable-yard, Linda [Saint Bernard] was greatly excited; weeping profusely and throwing herself on her back that she might caress my foot with her great fore-paws. Mamie’s little dog, too, Mrs. Bouncer [Pomeranian], barked in the greatest agitation on being called down and asked ‘Who is this?’ and tore round and round me..."

In addition to the Dickens dog collar, Barkfest at Bonhams previewed over two hundred works of canine art and memorabilia from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Well-known canine artists included Maud Earl, Arthur Wardle, William Trood, and many others. Last year, John Emms’s New Forest Foxhounds was sold at a record price at Bonhams Dog Sale, held the following Tuesday after the Barkfest. This year, his Bitchpack of the Meath Foxhounds broke that record yet again.

Canine companions were welcome to join the Barkfest at Bonhams Charity Brunch, with all proceeds benefiting the AKC Humane Fund, which celebrates the human-canine bond and promotes responsible pet ownership through education, outreach, and grant-making.

AKC Humane Fund Grant Helped Silky Rescue at a Critical Time

The mission of the AKC Humane Fund is to promote responsible dog ownership, and celebrate the bond between people and pets. The Silky Terrier Rescue Charitable Trust, or "Silky Rescue" for short, was the first breed rescue organization that the AKC Humane Fund proudly supported through its new grant program.

Silky Rescue began over 20 years ago and covers the entire contiguous United States. The group usually rescues about 60 dogs each year. Most of the west coast silkys rescued come from shelters while most of their east coast rescues are owner turn-ins.

The organization places the rescued dogs in foster homes and completes any veterinary care needed including vaccines, dental procedures, spays/neuters and other necessary surgeries. Once the dogs are stable, both physically and emotionally, they are adopted into new, loving homes.

In July of 2008, Silky Rescue took in 20 puppy mill dogs at once. They were vaccinated, micro-chipped, spayed/neutered and dentaled. Happily, most of them have been successfully re-homed and adopted. There were some heart-breaking cases, however. According to Sally Stevens of Silky Rescue, "Two were so emotionally traumatized that we are still working with them – over 18 months later. Trust is a huge issue for them."

The AKC Humane Fund grant came at a critical moment for Silky Rescue. Much of the organization’s financial reserves had been spent on the puppy mill dogs, but there were several additional expensive rescues this year. Two puppies with Legg-Perthes (a degenerative hip disorder in small breeds) required surgery in the thousands of dollars. Another silky who had suffered for two years with a dislocated hip also needed surgery. Rescuing a dog with severe heartworm disorder involved costly treatments.

"Our funds were really low," Stevens recalled. "You want to do whatever it takes, but with a small group and the present economy, we were really afraid we'd have to deny something necessary to a dog and just couldn't see doing that. We are ever so grateful to The Humane Fund for helping us over this rough patch."

Raymond Felt Page and Duke by Alban Jasper Conant Donated to the AKC Humane Fund

Donated in 2009 to the AKC Humane Fund Collection by Elizabeth M. Sanfilippo, the painting entitled Raymond Felt Page and Duke (c. 1887) by Alban Jasper Conant is truly a treasure. The portrait depicts a five or six year old Raymond Felt Page along with his dog Duke. Raymond was the youngest son of George Shepherd Page (1840-1892), a pioneer in the development of Coal Tar Products in America, who bred the first AKC registered Scottish Deerhound, Bonnie Robin, in 1886. Page’s interest in Scottish Deerhounds probably stemmed from a gift of two Scottish Deerhounds that he received from the Duke of Sutherland. Elizabeth M. Sanfilippo, who generously donated the painting to the AKC Humane Fund, is the great granddaughter of George Shepherd Page.

The artist of the painting, Alban Jasper Conant (American 1821-1951), became famous for painting the Smiling Lincoln, the one and only portrait of Lincoln smiling, as well as dignitaries including Attorney-General Edward Bates and Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton. One of his best known paintings, The First Gun at Fort Sumter (Major Robert Anderson), hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Raymond Felt Page and Duke exhibits Conant’s dedication to detail and his ability to capture the essence of his subject.

This gorgeous canvas can be seen in person by visiting the headquarters of the American Club at 260 Madison Avenue in New York City. To schedule a tour of the artwork contact AKC at (212) 696-8200.