Editorial: August 19, 2022
On many occasions when the American Kennel Club’s Humane Fund is mentioned in conversation, a blank look comes over people’s faces. But its good works need to be commended and addressed. Created by American Kennel Club president Dennis Sprung, its mission is, and we quote, “to protect pets, support worthy pet-related organizations and celebrate the human-animal bond.” It serves those in and out of our purebred dog community with great success, and has four areas of focus. The first is the Women’s Shelter Grant, which provides financial assistance to domestic-abuse shelters that accept pets. As you might know, not all domestic-abuse shelters allow pets, and that prevents many woman from seeking shelter at those facilities. With the added stress of the pandemic, there has been a significant rise in domestic violence. The American Kennel Club is the leading organization to help with such funding. The second area of support is the American Kennel Club Grant, dedicated to assisting groups that protect pets, including those involved in pet welfare, rescue and health. The rescue grant program provides financial help to non-profit canine rescue groups that undertake large rescue-related expenses, helping cover the costs of veterinary care, spaying and neutering as well as needed supplies. In the area of education, the Fund helps support the American Kennel Club library, one of the world’s largest repositories of dog-related books, including reference and archived information related to dogs. The American Kennel Club also sponsors two scholarships: The first is the John D. Spurling Scholarship. (John was the former owner of PetPartners, the pet-insurance company that is so closely associated with and endorsed by the American Kennel Club.) The fund awards $10,000 per year to help pay tuition costs for full-time students whose studies contribute to the well-being of dogs and responsible dog ownership, and include veterinary medicine, veterinary technology, physical therapy, care and behavior, grooming or training. The second is the George Ward Scholarship (named for the late professional handler George Ward). This scholarship provides financial assistance to American Kennel Club Registered Handlers Program apprentices who can apply in August for financial help for post-secondary education. These worthy causes are a credit to Dennis and the American Kennel Club, as these areas are sometimes overlooked in the fast-paced lives we all live.