Latest News

January 31, 2018


RRCF began 2017 by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Canine Health Foundation to study Ventricular Arrhythmia in Rhodesian Ridgebacks at North Carolina State University. This research will study the "characterization of at-risk age" for Ventricular Arrhythmia in Rhodesian Ridgebacks. The study will take three years to complete. RRCF made the first of two payments to CHF of $18,000 August of 2017. The second payment is due in the first half of 2018.

The Foundation also answered the call for help in rescuing dogs caught up in the storms and floods that plagued the country by donating $1000 to the AKC Reunite fund. As a side note, RRCUS has their logo on one of the disaster trailers owned by the AKC because of a gift made by RRCUS a couple of years ago.

RRCF had a booth at the National Specialty in Portland. We felt that we optimized the opportunity to bring information and awareness to the mission of the Foundation while at the NS. Helping us convey our mission, Diane Brown DVM, PhD, DACVP, Chief Executive Officer of CHF spoke at the RRCUS Annual Meeting.

We tried a new approach this year by offering a small gift to anyone who filled out an information form about what areas they would like the Foundation to consider in the grant process. The results indicated that IVA, Epilepsy, Tick Bourne Disease and Cancer were the areas of importance to those participating. Susan Newman and Judy Abels ran this project and we appreciate their effort which brought lots of folks to our booth!

Rosann made every effort to write a personal note to everyone who contributed to the Foundation regardless of how large or small the amount. I am sure we missed a few but we always want those who contribute to know how much they are appreciated.

A digital brochure for Estate Planning was designed and is now available on our website. This is an area where Foundations over time receive a large portion of their revenues. We are always eager to discuss the options to leave a living legacy to assure the health and welfare of the breed for generations to come. Please visit our website to discover the various options for leaving a future gift.

Our website is managed by Pat Hoffmann and we are grateful for all she does! We recently moved from PayPal to Shopify as they have a special rate for 501(c)3 groups. Our hope is that it will help us track donations better and make the process of donating easier for those who donate.

The majority of the 4th quarter was spent identifying grants to contribute to. Following is a list of the three grants we selected:

  1. CHF Grant #2323. Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the Treatment of Canine Epilepsy. Principal Investigator; Stephanie McGrath, DVM,MS Colorado State University. Total grant amount: $356,022 Grant Period from 12/1/2017-11/30/2020.
  2. CHF Grant #2249. Studying the role of the Gastrointestinal Tract in Canine Epilepsy. Principal Investigator Karen R. Munana, DVM, MS North Carolina State University. Total grant Amount: $14,994 Grant Period from 6/1/2016-2/28/2018
  3. CHF Grant #2284-A. Lyme Disease in Dogs: Prevalence, Clinical Illness, and Prognosis. Principal Investigator: Jason Stull DVM PhD; Ohio State University. Total Grant Amount: $14,148. Grant period 7/1/2016-6/30/2018

We contributed $20,000 distributed equally between the three grants. All of our dollars were matched by the AKC.

Foundations rely on private donations from groups of interested people, individuals or corporate gifts. In return (according to IRS standards) they must return 5% annually in grants. RRCF returned 39% in 2017!

The RRCF board is extremely grateful for the commitment made by RRCUS to establish and support the Foundation. It ensures a legacy for our breed. RRCF raised over $60,000 in addition to the support given by RRCUS Also, we acknowledge and are grateful for all of those who have. Large or small, each gift supports the legacy.

I personally would like to thank the Foundation board for their time and commitment. They are a dedicated and generous group. I would especially like to recognize Kiki Courtelis for her matching contributions.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Jane Missimer, President
Judy Lichtman, Secretary
Chris Demery, Treasurer
Chris Abraham, Director
Kiki Courtelis, Director
Mary Lynn Elliott, Director
Pat Hoffmann, Director
Susan Newman, Director
Rosann Sexton, Director

October 24, 2017

The RRCF was pleased to have had a presence at this year's National Specialty in Portland. Under the watchful eye of Nancy Faville and team it seemed to run effortlessly. Those of us manning the Foundation booth met many new people and renewed old acquaintances and friendships. We also had the opportunity to answer questions about the Foundation and elicit areas of concern regarding the health and welfare of the breed. Some of the most frequently asked questions were about how we got started, our relationship with RRCUS and how we are linked to the Canine Health Foundation.

For us it all began in January of 2014 at the RRCUS BOD meeting. Over lunch MaryLynne Elliott and I were discussing the enviable position that RRCUS was carrying too many assets and should probably find a way to reduce their assets to avoid taxes while still benefiting the purpose of the club. We were aware that some 47 other parent clubs had established foundations that operated separately from the parent clubs. As immediate past president of RRCUS I was asked to investigate the possibility. The process took about 14 months as we needed to form a corporation, write a mission statement (which can be seen on our website, and file an IRS 1023 form for 501(c)3 status which we received in May of 2016. RRCUS provided the seed money for legal fees and filing costs. In addition, they contributed $30,000 to the Foundation. The Foundation raised an additional $39,000.

At the end of our first year, 2016, we were able to make our first grant to the Tick Bourne initiative of $21,000 making us a Charter Sponsor of the initiative as listed on the CHF website. Accomplishing all of this would not have been possible without the support of RRCUS and donors who recognize that "TOGETHER there is no Limit to what We can accomplish".

So far, this year we have granted $18,000 to the Ventricular Arrhythmia in Rhodesian Ridgebacks study at North Carolina State University. We have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with CHF and will fund this study again in 2018. We also gave $1000 to the AKC Reunite and brought Diane Brown DVM and CEO of the Canine Health Foundation to Portland as the speaker at the annual meeting. Before the year end we will be making additional grants. We will use the information collected in Portland in our decision process.

With appreciation,
Jane Missimer
President RRCF

October 17, 2017

Webinar: What's Feeding Those Seizures? An Update on Refractory Canine Epilepsy and the Potential Link to Gastrointestinal Health.

This was one of the subjects discussed by Diane Brown, CHF CEO at the RRCUS NS in Oregon last month. The RRCF has reviewed, selected and supported this Epilepsy Initiative.

The AKC Canine Health Foundation is partnering with VetVine to present a free educational webinar. The one hour webinar will be presented live on Tuesday, October 24 at 8:00 p.m. ET. This special event will feature Dr. Karen R. Muñana, board-certified veterinary neurologist.

Join Dr. Muņana in this complimentary webinar and learn about our current understanding of the mechanisms that can result in drug resistant seizures. The concept of the microbiota-gut-brain axis will also be introduced, and evidence presented to demonstrate the role that the gastrointestinal system plays in the development and progression of epilepsy and other neurological disorders.

Register today and don't miss out on this exciting educational opportunity!

Veterinary Professionals can earn CE credit (Approved by AAVSB RACE, NY State, NJVMA).

Can't join us on the 24th? Good news: the webinar will be recorded and available for on demand viewing on our website.

September 5, 2017

Keynote Speaker for RRCF at the RRCUS 2017 Portland NS Annual Meeting, September 19th at 7 PM PST

Diane Brown, DVM, PhD, DACVP, CHF Chief Executive Officer, joined the AKC Canine Health Foundation as Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) in August 2015, and assumed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) role in February 2016. As CEO, Dr. Brown leads the Foundation, overseeing operations and scientific programs from its Raleigh, NC headquarters. Her role is to cultivate the Foundation's research and education strategy in collaboration with its board of directors, scientific review committee, external collaborators, principal investigators and staff to ensure strategic, responsible, and innovative application of donor funds to uphold the Foundation's Mission to advance canine health.

As a scientist, veterinarian, and life-long dog lover, Dr. Brown's experience and interest in comparative and translational medicine, and veterinary practice and clinical pathology drew her to the Foundation.

Dr. Brown is a board-certified veterinary clinical pathologist who holds a DVM and PhD in pathology from Colorado State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. As an independent investigator and comparative pathologist, Dr. Brown has served as a member of the faculty at Harvard Medical School, as director of the Comparative Clinical Pathology Laboratory at Massachusetts General Hospital, and as consulting pathologist at the University of Colorado. She previously served as the Chief Scientific Officer for Morris Animal Foundation, and holds an affiliate faculty position in the Department of Molecular and Comparative Pathobiology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She has held prior affiliate faculty appointments in the veterinary schools at Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, Colorado State University and Purdue University.

Dr. Brown also brings experience in the corporate world, as former senior pathologist at Eli Lilly and Company. She began her veterinary career as a small animal practitioner for four years prior to beginning her residency and PhD program, and completed an NIH Fellowship in the study of genetic diseases shared by human and veterinary patients. She enjoys teaching and also providing mentorship to students interested in pursuing training and careers in biomedical and veterinary science, and believes in the importance of training the next generation of scientists for animal health. She has served as a board member and volunteer veterinarian for service dogs. Dr. Brown has a son Kyle, a cat Sagwa, and her office mate Lily, an English Setter.

September 3, 2017

akc-reuniteRRCF donated $1000 to AKC Reunite to assist in the rescue and care of dogs stranded by Harvey.

AKC Pet Disaster Relief trailers are donated to LOCAL emergency management agencies (usually government, but sometimes private) with the responsibility for responding to pet-related emergencies in their jurisdiction. Every agency we have donated to has affirmed that they are ready and willing to help other agencies if called upon to do so, and this is common if the agencies are close to each other geographically. The further away they are from each other, the more complicated it gets. If both agencies are within a state, the state emergency management agency may help coordinate/direct the response and which resources are brought in.

We saw that in Texas after Harvey where the trailers in Dallas and Ft Worth were at first kept in their area to create evacuation shelters. Then as the need changed, the Tri-Cities trailer from the Dallas area was requested to help and was deployed south to Port Arthur, TX. Additionally, a trailer from Nashville, TN was requested and went to Rockport, TX with volunteers to help with a shelter, then returned home prior to Irma coming ashore.

These trailers ARE donated to LOCAL emergency management agencies. Response starts at the local level, then state, then FEMA.

Our understanding in Oregon is that the counties that have a trailer did not need to use it in their county (but were ready), and no other county requested their use. Without an agency-to-agency formal request, the equipment and local government personnel do not get deployed.

Tom Sharp
President & CEO | 919-816-3839
AKC Reunite | 800-252-7894 | Like us on Facebook

August 18, 2017 akc-canine-health400

AKC Canine Health Foundation-Funded Study Discovers a Genetic Cause of Canine Epilepsy. Read the full story.