ASC Logo by Paul Brown ASC

Friday, May 06, 2005
ASCF General Information

ASC Foundation
"For the Love of our Breeds"

Questions, questions! We do get questions! In an effort to keep you up to date on Foundation activities, here are some of the questions we hear most often…

And remember, we welcome ALL suggestions and questions!!! CONTACT US

ASCF Questions and answers
1. What is the status of the University of Missouri epilepsy study to which the ASC Foundation made its first grant?

The ASCF and the eleven other parent breed clubs sponsoring this study are pleased with the level of progress being displayed on this particular grant. As with most scientific research projects, it takes time to find actual solutions to the issues being studied, but after receiving promising reports from the study’s principal researchers, Dr. Gary Johnson, DVM, PhD and Dennis O’Brien, DVM, PhD, we have made the second payment of $3,140 of the $6,820 total we agreed to fund.

Here is the actual grant progress abstract provided to the Canine Health Foundation and the sponsoring parent clubs.

In our on-going study of canine epilepsy, we have found that most canine epilepsy families do not follow the simple inheritance patterns described by Gregor Mendel. This suggests that epilepsy results when a dog inherits mutations in two or more different genes. Mutations involving two or more genes are also thought to be responsible for the vast majority of human epilepsy that occurs in families. Mendelian inheritance is encountered in rare types of human epilepsy and in many of these families the epilepsy-causing mutation has been found by genome mapping. We appear to have found Mendelian inheritance in at least one canine family and if this holds true we will attempt to map the mutation. One unexpected finding that is not seen in the human epilepsy families is the predominance of males among the affected dogs in several dog breeds. A similar inheritance pattern in human disease has been attributed to paired mutations on the X chromosome and in the mitochondria DNA in these breeds. Our ultimate goal is to produce a DNA marker that breeders can use to avoid matings that will result in new generations of epileptic dogs.

2. Is the Foundation currently considering any other grant awards?

The ASCF Grant Committee is awaiting proposals from two sources regarding proposed studies on Chronic Active Hepatitis; Copper Toxicosis and other related liver disease type issues. One proposal is expected from Dr. Ned Patterson at the University of Minnesota and another from Dr. Jean Dodds in California. While both would study similar issues, each would have a different approach and perspective. The Grant Committee and the Scientific Research Committee will evaluate these two proposals to see if one or both are worthy of an ASCF grant. We expect to have a decision by the January Board meeting.

We will also consider making an additional grant to the current epilepsy study if it is requested.

In addition, the ASCF Scientific Research Committee and the newly appointed ASC Health Chair, Dr., Marge Saari are working closely with other groups (including the English Cocker Spaniel Club) to create a DNA bank. Hopefully, this would be done in conjunction with the AKC and OFA as well. This project is in its early stages and will be led by Dr. Saari, with cooperation and support from Doug McFarlane and Bobbie Kohlhouse of the ASCF Scientific Research Committee.

3. How much money is in the ASC Foundation’s coffers at the moment? Are the monies invested to produce income?

Existing Foundation funds are approximately $83,575 (this changes slightly month to month as new donations are received and nominal expenses are paid). These funds are deposited in an interest-bearing checking account, not in potential income-producing accounts, as the Foundation does not want to put donated monies “at risk” in this time of volatile markets.

It is the ASCF Board’s feeling that these monies were donated for a specific purpose – i.e. improving the health and welfare of our breeds. To put these donated funds at any risk would not be in keeping with the trust those who donated these funds expect of the Foundation.

4. What is the status of the search for a fund raising professional?

Our initial search was not fruitful. We learned that professional fundraisers operate under an ethical code which strongly suggests that they work for a fixed fee, regardless of how successful their efforts are, rather than for a percentage of what they raise. Given this and the limited funds available, the Foundation has not wanted to put those funds at risk by hiring a professional fundraiser. We still believe that the best short-term solution is to have one of our members with fund raising skills step up to assume the responsibilities of the ASCF Fund Raising Chair.

UPDATE (12/03)! The ASCF Board has just elected Judy Knobbe, a 12 year member of the ASC, as Fund Raising Chair. Judy is a member of the CSC of Eastern Missouri and has served as Specialty Show Chairman of that show for two years as well as Corresponding Secretary for two terms. She has also served as Co-Chairman of Hospitality for the Cocker Spaniel National and is a member of the Golden Retriever Club of Greater St. Louis (GRCGSL), serving on that club's Board of Directors. She also has responsibility for data entry into the GRCGSL's CERF, Cardiac, Microchip and OFA clinic's.

She has served as Co-Chair of the ASCF Gala event since it's inception and we look forward to Judy bringing her demonstrated skills and strengths to the broader fund raising goals of the Foundation.

5. Why was the Foundation established as an organization separate from the ASC?

From the outset, the Foundation realized that it would be absolutely critical for the success of its fund-raising efforts that donations be tax-deductible to the extent provided by law. Fortunately, the IRS granted the Foundation a “501(c)(3)” designation, which is given to not-for-profit charitable organizations.

The American Spaniel Club, determined by the IRS to be a not-for-profit social organization, does not qualify for the same designation, but qualifies for a “501(c)(7)” designation, which does not permit tax deductible donations. And though the ASC and ASCF are sister organizations with the same altruistic goals, each is a separate organization, and in fact MUST be, as the IRS requires no mixing of funds and a separate financial management structure to maintain the “501(c)(3)” designation. It was felt by the ASC Board that the best way to accomplish this was to establish the Foundation as a separate Delaware corporation.

Elena Duggan,
Public Education Committee

ASCFoundation Q & A