The American Kennel Club and AKC Canine Health Foundation Launch Canine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program


Sharon M. Albright, DVM, CCRT
Manager of Communications & Veterinary Outreach
AKC Canine Health Foundation
Phone: 919-334-4019

Brandi H. Munden
Vice President
Public Relations & Communications
American Kennel Club
Phone: 212-696-8220

For Immediate Release

RALEIGH, NC (February 20, 2024) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF), in collaboration with the American Kennel Club (AKC), announces the launch of the AKC/AKC CHF Canine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program.

This program is designed to increase the number of specialists trained to meet the unique needs of athletic and working dogs, as well as all dogs in need of rehabilitation. Rehabilitation focuses on recovery after surgical procedures, as well as improving the quality of life in animals suffering from debilitating diseases such as arthritis or neurologic impairments. Cutting-edge medicine and health research will benefit canine athletes such as AKC conformation and performance sport participants, detection dogs, military working dogs, police dogs, and more. Given the growing popularity of performance and companion dog sports, canine athletes across the country stand to benefit from additional practitioners trained in this relatively new veterinary specialty.

“CHF recognizes that the health and well-being of dogs extend beyond routine healthcare,” says Dr. Stephanie Montgomery, CHF Chief Executive Officer. “In supporting a Canine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency, the Foundation demonstrates its continued commitment to advancing veterinary medicine and ensuring that every dog receives the specialized care they deserve based on their unique circumstances.”

CHF released the first call for applications from veterinary colleges with approved sports medicine and rehabilitation programs this month. Each proposal will be reviewed by a panel of CHF leadership and subject matter experts and the chosen institution will receive $100,000 annually to support a three-year residency. Interested veterinary professionals will apply through the Veterinary Internship & Residency Matching Program in the spring of 2025 and start their residency training in July 2025. The program will hopefully grow to award a new residency every year, providing ongoing support for three concurrent residents.

Gina DiNardo, AKC Executive Secretary, shares “This Program will support the training of specialists to care for not only AKC companion and performance sport participants but all dogs. The AKC is passionate about everything related to dogs and proud to support the training of these integral veterinary professionals.”

The AKC/AKC CHF Canine Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation Residency Program builds on the success of a similar collaboration supporting specialty training in reproductive medicine and clinical genetics. Since 2016, the AKC/AKC CHF/TF Small Animal Theriogenology Residency Program has provided funding to train 14 specialists at various United States veterinary colleges to help safeguard the health of current and future generations of dogs.

With generous support from the AKC, CHF remains committed to advancing the health of all dogs through cutting-edge science and educational grants. Learn more about these efforts at


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About CHF
Since 1995, the AKC Canine Health Foundation has leveraged the power of science to address the health needs of all dogs. With more than $68 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 its highest four-star Charity Navigator rating and Candid Platinum Seal of Transparency. Learn more at

About the American Kennel Club
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function.  Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 26,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred and mixed breed dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests.

Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite, the AKC Museum of the Dog, and the AKC Purebred Preservation Bank.  For more information, visit

AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.

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