Toni Linstedt, Dalmatian Club of America Foundation President
Dalmatian Club of America Foundation
Advancing the health and quality of life for Dalmatians and all
dogs through supported research and education.
2019 was a good year for the Foundation in terms of fundraising, Endowment Fund growth, outreach to non DCA members for support through social media, expansion of our Heritage Society membership with six new members, and participation in the OFA CHIC DNA Repository program. Also, over the past year, 115 more Dalmatians were issued CHIC numbers, increasing the total to 1,400! Well done breeders and owners!
Thank you to the many folks who generously donated throughout the year. Through your generosity, we were able to fully reimburse the Carroll County Humane Society for their expenses related to all the Black Rock dogs rescued, provide assistance to Dalmatian Rescue of North Texas for a rescue they took on involving 22 Dalmatians, assisted several other rescue organizations and are still positioned to fully reimburse Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia and Willing Hearts Dalmatian Rescue for their help with the Black Rock dogs. We also began the Full Litter CHIC DNA Repository program, and also, as always, subsidized the costs of
health tests at the James W Smith Memorial Health Clinics. Our donations exceeded our expenses this year, positioning us to pursue additional studies as the need arises.
Through September, we have nearly 1,600 Dalmatians in the DNA Repository. This includes none of the 32 full litter submissions that started in October! A big thanks to Ginger Iwaoka who has made full litter submissions her mission and to all the breeders that have jumped on board! DCAF will pay the shipping and OFA will waive the fees. This program is an incredibly important first step in making future health research studies successful. The second step is to update those health histories with OFA as problems arise so that when a study is contemplated, researchers have access to the DNA of affected dogs and their relatives. For example, there is some evidence that primary glaucoma may be an issue in our breed.
Anecdotally, we have heard of a number of cases, but if they are not documented, if they are not identifiable in the DNA Repository, there is little we can do to investigate. Please, please take the time to report your dog’s diagnosed health issues, whatever they may be, to OFA. It’s confidential and it’s easy. All you need to do is send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the dog’s registered name, registration number and the diagnosis.
Sometime during the first half of 2020, we are due to receive final reports from our Copper Storage Disease and Renal Failure studies. We have learned much more about both these serious health issues in our breed through these studies. In the case of Renal Failure, the low number of affected dogs participating in the study severely limited what could be learned in terms of how to reduce the occurrences of this fatal problem. Without sufficient subject dogs, it would not be a good use of resources to continue to move forward with additional funded research. However, in the sad event one of your dogs does become affected, you should absolutely reach out to the committee or the research team for inclusion in potential future research. Tissue as well as DNA can be banked and used later.
In the case of Copper Storage, participation has been excellent, and we are optimistic that we will ultimately learn ways to minimize the incidents of this potentially life-threatening condition and are committed to that outcome. Whether or not a Phase II study will be needed to reach the desired outcome is not yet known. If it is, we believe we are positioned to move forward.
We look forward to strong participation at this year’s James W Smith Memorial Health Clinics and to a lot of fun with the Decorated Dals II silent auction that will conclude following Top Twenty in Asheville! Check them out on the Facebook page where you can place your remote bid for one or more of these 50 unique pieces by DCA artists!
Toni Linstedt, DCAF President
Dalmatian Club of America Foundation