The AKC Humane Fund, a non-profit organization committed to supporting responsible pet ownership, is marking its 10-year anniversary in 2018.
The idea to create the AKC Humane Fund was presented to the board of directors by Dennis B. Sprung, and it achieved 501c3 status in 2008. It was created with the mission to unite animal lovers in promoting responsible pet ownership through education, outreach and grant-making. The Fund set out to provide financial support to organizations that educate adults and children about responsible pet ownership, provide for the health and well-being of all dogs, and preserve and celebrate the human-animal bond. Charitable and educational activities include: Breed Rescue Grants, Grants to Domestic Violence Shelters that accept pets, Scholarships, Awards for Canine Excellence (ACE Awards) and funding the AKC Library.
“Over the past decade, the AKC Humane Fund has been making great strides to unite animal lovers in promoting responsible ownership,” AKC Humane Fund President Doug Ljungren said. “Countless contributions have been made through the Fund to establish educational programs, provide grants to organizations and assist breed rescue, and we see no signs of stopping. We are excited to see what’s in store for the future of this charitable organization that has made such a difference in the animal-loving community.”
Each year, through its John D. Spurling Scholarship, the AKC Humane Fund awards five scholarships totaling $10,000 to full-time students enrolled in courses of study that contribute to the wellbeing of dogs and responsible pet ownership. The Fund gives back to the sport of dogs through its George Ward Scholarship, which provides financial assistance to apprentice handlers pursuing academic and professional enrichment. In 2017, two grants of $5,000 each were awarded through this program.
The AKC Humane Fund also provides financial assistance to domestic abuse shelters that accept pets. These grants make it possible for women’s shelters to welcome pets and help break the cycle of domestic abuse. The Fund has contributed to more than 120 domestic violence shelters since its inception in 2008.
Additionally, the AKC Humane Fund is dedicated to assisting groups that protect pets, including those involved in pet welfare, rescue and health. Its rescue grant program provides financial assistance to not-for-profit canine clubs and rescue groups that take on significant, rescue-related expenses. Through its Sandy Fund Grant, which was founded after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the AKC Humane Fund supports organizations that are performing disaster relief services in their communities. The Fund has donated $40,000 to hurricane relief efforts through this program in 2017.