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AKC National Breed Club Breed Rescues

AKC National Breed Club Breed Rescues

Rottweiler and Chihuahua laying next to each other.

The American Kennel Club surveyed representatives of AKC-affiliated National Breed Clubs about their involvement in breed rescue. The primary objective of the survey was to gather quantifiable data about their rescue activities. AKC received many detailed responses from breed club and affiliated rescue organization members, including those representing the top 10 most popular breeds in the United States, according to AKC registration statistics. 

Rescue Structure:  

  • Nearly 94% of all respondents indicated that they directly administer or are involved in rescue efforts for their breeds. 
  • The rescue efforts are headed either by committees made up of club members (37%), handled by a separate independent organization (28%) or are managed directly by the club’s Board of Directors (6%). Some clubs like the Golden Retriever Club of America do not handle rescue directly but provide resources such as coordination, online listings, fundraising and grants to dozens of local breed rescue organizations. 
  • Over 36% have separate charitable 501(c)3 organizations designated to handle rescue efforts for their breed. 
  • Over 65% have more than 10 members actively involved in rescue and more than 77% of respondents have been involved in breed rescue for more than a decade. 
  • Of the clubs surveyed, 44% spend between $1,000- $10,000 each year on their breed rescue efforts, while 33% spend over $10,000. 
  • Over 77% of clubs work with other, non AKC-affiliated rescue organizations to transport, foster and adopt-out dogs. 

Dogs Rescued:  

  • Respondents stated that a majority of their dogs are relinquished by individual owners, while nearly 33% come from shelters, animal control and pounds. 
  • The top three reasons cited by owners for surrendering a dog are change of lifestyle, not the right breed for them and lack of time to spend with the dog. 
  • A quarter of the respondents said that their efforts involve more than 20 dogs each year. Over half said they rescue more than 60 dogs, including 200 or more (14%) and over 1,000 (16%). 
  • Nearly all of the clubs (93.4%) said their rescues are fostered in volunteer homes. Approximately 70% stay in foster care between 1 to 6 months; 23% less than one month; and 8% over 6 months. 
  • Over 77% of respondents said they do not charge for dogs to be surrendered to their organizations. However some clubs ask owners to make a donation to be applied to the cost of care. 
  • The average adoption fee is between $100 and $300. 
  • An average of 85% indicated that they provide their dogs with annual shots, temperament testing, rabies vaccination and micro chipping before they are adopted. Over 95% require that all rescue dogs be spayed/ neutered. 
  • While very few of the dogs coming into rescue have AKC papers (under 10%), 71% percent of respondents stated that they inform new owners about the AKC Purebred Alternative Listing program when a dog is adopted. PAL allows a purebred dog without AKC registration papers to compete in Companion and Performance events. 
  • Over 88% of clubs do not buy dogs at auctions, in accordance with AKC’s recommendation on this issue. 
  • Nearly 90% of those surveyed are involved in educating the public about responsible dog ownership and breed rescue. They accomplish this via information booths at dog events and expos, web content and local community outreach. 

To find more information about AKC National Breed Clubs and Rescues, visit