COLLIE HEALTH FOUNDATION: PAYING IT FORWARD FOR COLLIE HEALTH
discover cures/controls for people afflicted with related conditions. Canine researchers are already aligned with NIH, National Institute of Health. For example, early detection of bladder cancer in dogs. This leads to NIH trials on people to determine if the same early detection methods with dogs could be used with humans. Many researchers involved on finding an effective heart disease treatment in dogs are also working hand in hand with drug companies. Canine research is helping lead the charge in this arena. DMS does not affect only dogs. Related to people, children can genetically inherit DMS. The type of DMS in children is similar to that which we see in our Collies and Shelties. The magnitude of being able to treat children inflicted with this condition would be lifechanging. All because of research with our dogs.” Interested in participation to pay it forward to Collie and dog- related health issues? “Currently, there is DMS clinical treatment open to both purebred Collies and Shelties at no cost to owners due to the generosity of funding by CHF, the ASSA - American Shetland Sheepdog Association, and through the AKC Canine Health Foun- dation,” explained Johns. “To participate, interested owners and breeders would contact any of the three mentioned organizations.” PURPOSE AND GOALS OF THE COLLIE HEALTH FOUNDATION The specific purposes and objectives of the Foundation include, but are not limited to, the following: 1. To foster and promote the public’s knowledge and apprecia- tion of dogs in general and Collies in particular. 2. To further understanding of the diseases, defects, injuries, and other ailments that afflict dogs in general and Collies in particular. 3. To support and promote the study of, and research on, the history, character, varieties, breeding genetics, and particular health problems of Collies. 4. To establish a national database of resource materials about Collies. 5. To produce, publish, and distribute to the general public, edu- cational materials about the proper care, treatment, breeding, health, development, and training of Collies. For more information about the Collie Health Foundation, visit its amazing site at https://www.colliehealth.org/.
Its website contains an abundance of information, from perti- nent genetic tests, articles, videos, and blood banking to grant overviews and current research samples needed. Examples of current research samples in which Collie own- ers can now participate are the Coloboma research study to locate a genetic marker for the condition, the underlying devel- opment of DMS in Collies (and Shelties), and Identification of Genetic Risk in Collies with Epilepsy. Information about these studies and how to become a participant can be found on the CHF website. How does the Foundation earn income to support worthy research? It is an “IRS 501(c)3 non-profit” corporation, receiv- ing its funds through membership donations, fund-raising activities, and other contributions. Collie Club of America gives $1 from each CCA member’s annual dues to CHF. As the Foundation’s membership grows, grants can become more gen- erous. In essence, the Foundation has filled a large void. Many other breed clubs, including the American Kennel Club, have followed suit and established their own Health Foundations (AKC/CHF). The Collie Club of America was, and is, a leader in this area. On December 17, 2002 the organization changed its name from the Collie Club of America Foundation to the Collie Health Foundation. This gives the Foundation a unique iden- tity, separate from the Collie Club of America, while allowing it to represent its mission more clearly. Robette Johns, current President of CHF, commented, “The Foundation serves its membership through the remark- able scientific health advances afforded by the diligent work of the incredible researchers it supports. When we award grant money, we stay with the researcher(s) until the conclusion of the project.” She continued, “I think it is important to have a good working relationship the AKC Canine Health Foundation also. We have been part of their projects as well. For example, in the past, CHF has allocated $50,000 towards bloat research, mon- ey towards tick-borne diseases, and $75,00 towards epilepsy.” It is important to note that these projects benefit not only Collies but all dogs . It even goes beyond the dogs. She continued, “It is imperative for everyone to under- stand that what we do today researching health issues with our dogs could possibly become the catalyst to helping researchers
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Patt Caldwell grew up loving Collies due to, of course, the Lassie television program. Growing up, the family had three pet Collies. As a teenager, Patt would ride city transportation to go to the benched Chicago International Dog Show to see all the beautiful Collies. As an adult, she started her emersion into AKC sports with two Obedience Collies and then moved into Conformation. Since then, Patt has served the Collie Club of America as a District Director, Assistant to the club’s Junior Showmanship Chairperson, Chairperson of the Breed Education Committee, and an Election Coordinator. She is the current Secretary for the Collie Health Foundation and holds memberships in the CCA, Collie Health Foundation, Collie Club of Austin, Central States Collie Club, and Chicago Collie Club. Within each of these clubs, Patt has served in various officer positions and on numerous committees. She is an approved AKC Conformation Judge for Collies and All-Breed Junior Showmanship. Retired from 42 years teaching general and special education, Patt is becoming more involved in AKC venues that are new to her.
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