AKC Canine Health Foundation Recognizes 2021 Leaders in Canine Health
Sharon M. Albright, DVM, CCRT
Manager of Communications & Veterinary Outreach
AKC Canine Health Foundation
For Immediate Release
RALEIGH, NC (December 17, 2021) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners, recognizes leaders in canine health with their annual awards.
- Dr. A. Duane and Connie Butherus receive the 2021 President’s Award.
- 2021 Distinguished Research Partners are the Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute, Inc. and Retriever News/Entry Express.
The President's Award is given to a person or organization that has made an exceptional contribution to advancing canine health. Duane and Connie Butherus have devoted more than 50 years to dogs. From showing prize-winning Afghan Hounds to serving as officers for many clubs, they are dedicated to advancing the health and well-being of dogs. Duane is currently on CHF’s Board of Directors and served as Chairman of the Board from 2013 to 2015. He is also currently a member of CHF’s Scientific Review Committee. Connie is the past president of the Afghan Hound Club of America, Afghan Hound Club of Northern New Jersey, and Central New Jersey Hound Association. In addition, she is a current member of the Kennel Club of Philadelphia, Morris & Essex Kennel Club, Tuxedo Park Kennel Club, and Delaware Gap Kennel Club.
The Distinguished Research Partner Award is given annually to clubs or organizations for their ongoing and outstanding commitment to support canine health research. The Australian Shepherd Health and Genetics Institute, Inc. (ASHGI) has been a valued supporter of canine health research funded through CHF since 2009, supporting studies that directly impact canine health and breeding strategies. Their constant and enthusiastic attendance at the National Parent Club Canine Health Conference furthers the missions of ASHGI and CHF to benefit the health of all dogs. Retriever News provides vital outreach through magazine ads and content. They support research through direct donations and provide handlers the unique opportunity to support CHF through the Entry Express retriever event management system.
“This year’s award recipients have provided long-term and steadfast support for CHF and its mission,” says CHF Board Chairman, J. Charles Garvin, MD, FACS. “We are honored to apply their knowledge and passion to advance the health of all dogs.”
In 2021, CHF invested more than $3.4 million in 50 new canine health research and educational grants. These grants augment the Foundation’s portfolio of 154 active and international canine health studies addressing a variety of conditions from glaucoma to pancreatitis to cancer and more.
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Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $63.5 million in funding to date, the Foundation provides grants for the highest quality canine health research and shares information on the discoveries that help prevent, treat and cure canine diseases. The Foundation meets and exceeds industry standards for fiscal responsibility, as demonstrated by their highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at
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