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It’s April, and income tax talk is in the air. If you are looking at your tax-deductible donations for 2012 on your tax form, you might be thinking you wish you had made a donation that will benefit the future health of English Setters and all dogs. Now’s the time to plan your 2013 donations to make sure you cover the causes that are near and dear to your heart and perhaps reduce your taxable income in the process.
You might consider making a donation to AKC’s Canine Health Foundation (CHF). The AKC created the CHF in 1995 as a 501(c)3 charitable organization with the mission of raising funds to support canine health research. From the CHF web site http://www.akcchf.org/: “the mission of the. . . .CHF is ‘to advance the health of all dogs and their owners by funding sound scientific research and supporting the dissemination of health information to prevent, treat, and cure canine disease.’”
Armed with information gathered from parent clubs, veterinarians, and dog owners about health concerns specific to a breed or group of breeds, teams of researchers make proposals to study those health concerns in a scientific, organized way with the aim of reducing or eliminating them. The CHF itself may fund studies, and an individual parent club or group of parent clubs may do so.
On the CHF web site, by clicking on Funded Research, you can find out what research has been conducted concerning a particular health category, a particular disease, or a particular breed by tailoring your search. If you search on English Setters, you will see three studies have been completed, two on deafness and one on thyroid disease.
Compared to other breeds, English Setters are fortunate that we have fewer serious inherited health issues. Still, we should do our best to understand and take steps to eliminate or mitigate those we do have.
Each year, the CHF sends to the English Setter Association of America Health and Genetics Committee a list of studies that might be relevant to English Setters. The Committee reviews the proposals and prioritizes those that would seem to be of most benefit to our breed, and funds we have raised are allocated with ESAA Board approval.
It takes money to fund research that will lead to answers to our most pressing health questions. There are many suggested ways to donate under the How You Can Help tab on the CHF web site. You may earmark your donation for a specific breed, and your money will be waiting in a donor-directed fund when research is proposed that English Setter fanciers might wish to fund. You may click on a particular project, and if it touches your life in some way, click on a button that will allow you to donate to that project.
If one of your beloved dogs or a friend’s dog passes away, you could make a donation to the CHF in that dog’s name as a tangible way of remembering that dog and helping all dogs.
In the CHF, AKC has provided us with a tool to deal with health issues in our breed, to help us better plan breedings to avoid inherited genetic diseases, and to deal more effectively with such diseases when they occur. And, all CHF donations are tax-deductible.