President’s Annual Report for 2006
Dr. Clemmons DM Study
The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation Inc. continues to support the research effort by Dr. Clemmons on Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) at the University of Florida. As you know, this is a disease of great concern to owners and breeders of German Shepherd Dogs as it is a spinal cord disease severely affecting our Breed. The information that the Foundation has received from Dr. Clemmons is that this past year has been exciting and very productive.
We at the AGSDCF were very concerned and saddened to learn that the AKC/CHF has not awarded a grant to Dr. Clemmons to continue his research on DM at the University of Florida. In 2001, the AGSDCF gave $50,000 to AKC/CHF AGSDCF Donor Advised Funds account in hopes that it would be used for DM research. We at the Foundation had hoped Dr. Clemmons would be approved under a grant so that we could direct our donor advised funds to support his research at the University of Florida. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. In addition to the AKC/CHF gift of $50,000, over the last three years, the Foundation has given in excess of $63,000 directly to Dr. Clemmons’ research at the University of Florida. The GSDCA sent $14,000 over the last two years to the University of Florida, which was matched by $9,000 (which is included in the $63,000), bringing the total to Dr. Clemmons at the University of Florida to approximately $77,000. We are very proud of this accomplishment, as our donations are made up primarily of individual gifts or memorials, since the Foundation is not the recipient of large gifts from any Company (i.e.: Purina).
AGSDCF Fiduciary Responsibility
The AGSDCF takes its responsibilities very seriously and most especially its fiduciary responsibility to donors of the Foundation to have some sort of diversification in the health projects which the AGSDCF has the funds for and is able to support. The Foundation also works to assist projects through personal commitment that could help the German Shepherd Dog. Please refer to recent information provided by our (AGSDCF) Health Liaison, Ginny Altman. (At conclusion of this report).
In April 2006, at the AGSDCF Board Meeting, Dr. Jack Eberts was nominated, voted on, elected and welcomed as a Director of AGSDCF. We are thrilled to have Jack as a Director, as he will be invaluable as a member of the Board.
The AGSDCF is in the process of developing a mailing list of people who have in some way supported the efforts of the Foundation in its endeavor to protect the health of the Breed. “TO THE HEALTH OF THE BREED” newsletter was born and the first issue was mailed in October and available at the GSDCA 2006 National Specialty in Missouri. Also new brochures are available regarding “Ways to Become Involved,” “The Heritage Society,” plus other informative tools.
The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation is very thankful and appreciative of those who remember the Foundation with a gift, no matter the size. Many thanks to the GSDCA Budget and Finance Committee and Board for the 2006 donation of $2,000. It will go a long way to supporting any grants that are to be available. The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation Inc. is an independent organization and wishes to thank the GSDCA for their continued support.
The Foundation requires private support annually in order to maintain continuous funding of scholarship grants, research projects, program developments and educational materials. Your help is needed NOW to help fund valuable research studies, some already in progress and others awaiting funds. The Foundation affords you the opportunity to participate by giving. (German Shepherd Dog fanciers and friends can make private tax deductible gifts through a legally approved fund.) It has been underscored recently to me that “Life is not a dress rehearsal.” We must all do all we can while we can!
AGSDCF 20th Anniversary
In closing, I would like to extend an invitation to ALL German Shepherd enthusiasts to be part of the AGSDCF 20th anniversary Benefit that will take place immediately following judging in the Gala Benefit Room on Friday, October 20, 2007, on the grounds of the Budweiser Event Center.
The American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation awaits the decision of the GSDCA Budget and Finance Committee and vote of the GSDCA Board concerning the donation for 2007.
AGSDCF, Inc. Health Laison Addendum
Reported by: Ginny Altman, AGSDCF Inc. Vice President and Health Liaison
RE: DNA Samples from Dogs with Hip Dysplasia/ University of Michigan
Ginny Altman, Vice President and Health Liaison for American German Shepherd Dog Charitable Foundation Inc. (AGSDCF) was actively involved in getting samples of GSD DNA for CHD (Canine Hip Dysplasia) project. She also responded to and fielded some questions about it for Lew Bunch, President of the GSDCA.
The following is directly quoted from correspondence sent to Ginny Altman from Paul Ferguson Researcher/University of Michigan.
“I just wanted to give you a brief update on the CHD project I have been working on. First I want to thank you for your efforts and the German Shepherd owners who responded. The bad news is that the gene I was working on turned out to be excluded as a cause of CHD. The GOOD news is that . . . that gene is excluded. Might be hard to understand outside the world of the research lab, but we now have one less gene to consider in finding the cause. Since any one gene can take months of work before it is known whether or not it is linked to the disease, every one we rule out is progress. Of course we all would rather find the causative gene, but in reality that seems relatively rare.
What I want you to know is that without the samples you enabled me to get, I would not have had enough information to get answers on this gene. Though the outcome is not what we wanted, we would have had no answers without those samples. I don’t know what our next step is going to be at this time but at least we have a few more tools now.”