Westminster Donates $50,000 for Canine Research

Donation by the Westminster Kennel Club will sponsor studies on canine influenza.

The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation has been selected by the Westminster Kennel Club as the recipient of this year’s charitable donation made during their annual televised “America’s Dog Show.”

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, held Feb. 9 and 10 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, helped raise $50,000. The contribution helps make a difference in canine health, said Terry Warren, Ph.D., CEO and general counsel for the foundation — specifically in the prevention of disease.

Westminster Kennel Club has chosen to sponsor Grant 1105: Understanding the Dynamics of Canine Influenza Virus Transmission in Dog Populations and Intervention Strategies for Reducing Transmission.

To help prevent the spread of the newly discovered canine influenza virus, the Foundation provided a grant to Cynda Crawford, DVM, Ph.D., from the University of Florida.

The canine flu is a newly emerging and highly contagious respiratory infection caused by a novel influenza virus. Since it was first identified in 2003, the virus has caused respiratory disease outbreaks in thousands of dogs.

The research project will focus on finding out who is susceptible, how it’s transmitted from one dog to another, and whether it can be prevented.

To find solutions to these questions, past outbreaks will be analyzed and models will be developed to better understand the transmission and risk factors. Based on the study results, a strategy (such as vaccinations, antiviral therapy, quarantine, or removal) can be developed to stop new outbreaks.

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