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Search and rescue grant extends study
of dogs deployed on Sep 11, 2001

The AKC Companion Animal Recovery and AKC Canine Health Foundation have approved funding that will allow Cynthia Otto, DVM, PhD, at the University of Pennsylvania to continue to study the health of the dogs deployed to the World Trade Center and the Pentagon following the terrorist attacks in September 2001.

The new two-year grant, effective January 1, 2005, from the AKC Companion Animal Recovery Search and Rescue Fund as well as a matching donation from the AKC Canine Health Foundation (totaling $76,245), will allow for continued observation of the dogs in an effort to evaluate the long-term health effects throughout their natural life span.

"We are pleased to contribute to this ongoing study,” said Dennis B. Sprung, President of AKC and a member of the Companion Animal Recovery Board of Directors. “It is our hope that it will result in the possible prevention of negative effects in dogs who are used in future search and rescue efforts as well as offer a potential understanding of how human health may be impacted in these situations.

AKC, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and AKC Canine Health Foundation, offered a three-year grant in January 2002 in the amount of $379,546 for the study – Assessment of Injuries, Environmental Toxins and Anthrax Exposure in NYPD Search and Rescue and Bomb Detection Canines During World Trade Center Relief Efforts – to evaluate the effect of deployment on rate and onset of cancer in hundreds of dogs that participated in the search mission.

"Working together, the AKC, AKC Companion Animal Recovery and AKC Canine Health Foundation have supported this critical study from the start and it has important ramifications for both dogs and humans," said John Studebaker, President, AKC Canine Health Foundation.

The intensive monitoring includes blood work and chest radiographs. Behavior and activity information will be collected at each time period for the dogs and the medical and behavior changes in the dogs will be compared to control dogs to determine the lasting effects of this disaster and its response.