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New York, NY – The American Kennel Club’s Board of Directors has authorized a donation of up to $1 million to the AKC Canine Health Foundation Endowment Fund. An initial installment of $500,000 will be given outright and an additional $500,000 in matching funds will be made available by AKC for all new donations earmarked for the endowment through December 2005.

The AKC is a strong proponent of research that will result in healthier longer lives for all dogs. In 1995 the AKC established the AKC Canine Health Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and has contributed over $11 million since its founding. The Foundation has helped fund nearly 250 studies, including research related to the sequencing of the canine genome and the health effects of dogs involved in the search and rescue efforts after the September 11 terrorist attacks.

“The funds we are contributing today are in addition to our annual donations and reflect our continuing commitment to canine health research. We are proud of having donated over $11 million in total to the Foundation,” said Ron Menaker, AKC’s Chairman of the Board. “A strong endowment fund will allow the Foundation to continue to fund necessary studies to advance the quality of life for dogs.”

“The AKC established the Canine Health Foundation ten years ago with an original donation of $1 million to our endowment fund. This major additional contribution demonstrates once more the commitment of AKC to support canine health research. Our dogs will be the benefactors. Again we thank the AKC,” said John Studebaker, President, AKC Canine Health Foundation.