Displaying items by tag: pets
Information and resources for those concerned about their cats during the pandemic
(Washington, D.C., April 10, 2020) As the COVID-19 pandemic tragically continues to threaten the lives and livelihoods of people across the globe, evidence is mounting that domestic cats and other felines may also be at risk of contracting the disease. Professional organizations and new research suggest keeping pet cats indoors to manage infection risks.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) this week recommended that people who are self-isolating or have COVID-19 symptoms keep their cats indoors. According to BVA, it is possible that outdoor cats may carry the virus on their fur, just as the virus can live on other surfaces.
The American Veterinary Medical Association’s standing policy is that pet cats be kept indoors. Their policy states that “keeping owned cats confined, such as housing them in an enriched indoor environment, in an outdoor enclosure, or exercising leash-acclimated cats, can minimize the risks to the cats, wildlife, humans, and the environment.”
For people wanting to respond to these concerns by transitioning their cats from the outdoors to indoors, whether temporarily or permanently, American Bird Conservancy (ABC) offers a range of helpful solutions on its website that were developed over years of consultation with veterinarians and pet owners.
New studies from researchers in China, where the virus was first identified, evaluated SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19, to determine host susceptibilities and to better understand how the virus may move through the environment. These studies (Luan et al. 2020; Shi et al. 2020; Sun et al. preprint; Zhang et al. preprint), taken together, concluded that domestic cats are susceptible to infection, that infections have occurred both in experimental trials and outside the laboratory, and that infected domestic cats may transmit the virus to uninfected domestic cats.
Domestic cat infections have also been recently reported in Belgium and Hong Kong. Two Malayan Tigers, two Amur Tigers, and three Lions at the Bronx Zoo in New York have also shown symptoms of infection, and the only tiger to be tested came back positive for COVID-19. It’s suspected that people exposed these felines to the virus. So far, the disease does not appear to be fatal to cats, and there is no evidence that the disease has passed from cats to people.
“Keeping pet cats safely contained indoors, on a leash, or in a catio is always a great choice to protect cats, birds, and people,” said Grant Sizemore, Director of Invasive Species Programs at ABC. “At this point, it appears that keeping pet cats indoors is also the safer alternative to ensure the virus isn’t accidentally picked up or transferred by the cat.”
As well as being at risk from diseases, cars, and other threats, outdoor cats kill an estimated 2.4 billion wild birds each year in the U.S. alone.
Since 1997, ABC’s Cats Indoors program has supported responsible cat ownership that not only protects birds and other wildlife but also supports long, healthy lives for pet cats. Cat owners interested in bringing their cats indoors, or providing safe outdoor time for their pets, can find resources on the Cats Indoors website.
American Bird Conservancy is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. With an emphasis on achieving results and working in partnership, we take on the greatest problems facing birds today, innovating and building on rapid advancements in science to halt extinctions, protect habitats, eliminate threats, and build capacity for bird conservation. Find us on abcbirds.org, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@ABCbirds).
Alex Fox-Alvarez, D.V.M., an assistant professor of small animal surgery at the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine, has a reputation for taking innovative approaches to teaching.
So when COVID-19 safety measures implemented at UF meant fourth-year veterinary students were suddenly released from clinics on March 17 and faculty members needed to convert course content into an online format within one week, Fox-Alvarez turned a challenge into an opportunity for creative problem-solving.
“I wanted to make sure that my rounds included the elements of clinics that students would miss out on while away from the UF Small Animal Hospital,” Fox-Alvarez said.
The list was long: There’d need to be client communication, taking a patient’s history, making a diagnostic plan and interpreting tests to determine the best next step in care. Skills typically learned by observation — including how to communicate findings to the client and develop plans for treatment and postoperative care, provide detailed surgical procedural explanations and even address ethical dilemmas — would need to be communicated by distance learning.
Fox-Alvarez reached for video, which he regularly used for surgical teaching during his residency training at UF and later as a faculty member. He scrambled to rework old surgery lectures into an online rounds format that would suffice to replicate the vast clinical experience for students over a relatively short period of time. When it soon became clear that students would remain away from clinics for longer than previously thought, his initial concept evolved into a platform that could deliver long-term online learning: Veterinary Isolated Clinical Education, or VICE, Rounds.
“I wanted to incorporate as many example case images and videos as possible so that students could have a more memorable experience with the case, which would hopefully help them understand the key points they would need to take away for use in practice,” he said. “I also wanted to make sure to include the experience of case rounds and discussing diseases and treatment options in a relaxed way in a small group with faculty.”
He created organized breaks in his initial rounds presentation to allow for discussion of key points immediately before they were illustrated in the slides, as well as worksheets for grading.
“These rounds are really fun to build and record, but doing a lecture well takes a lot of energy. It didn’t take long to realize what a monumental task creating a comprehensive online substitute for clinical education would be, especially in the face of the abrupt chaos falling upon all veterinary colleges at once,” he said.
“There was no way any one institution could do it alone, especially in a time-frame fast enough to benefit the students now. Fortunately, Vet Med is a small, tightknit and passionate profession and I knew there would be colleagues elsewhere who would also be interested in making and volunteering their recorded rounds topics to benefit educators and students in our shared community.”
Fox-Alvarez then set up all of the logistics online to get the crowd-sourced VICE Rounds operational, and sent the initial call for volunteers to two surgery listservs where it spread and grew organically from there.
Volunteers contribute topic- and case-based rounds for on-demand streaming across teaching institutions, decreasing the pressure on each university to develop its own free-standing, off-site clinical curricula while managing urgent clinical needs, Fox-Alvarez said.
Currently, there have been 19 recorded rounds uploaded, with over 50 more topics in progress from veterinarians at 15 different participating universities, including one from Canada and five specialty private practices, including one from the United Kingdom. Within just two weeks of the first VICE Rounds, the initiative had garnered mentions in an American Veterinary Medical Association newsletter and on the Veterinary Information Network.
With the help of his wife, Stacey Fox-Alvarez, D.V.M., a third-year veterinary medical oncology resident, Fox-Alvarez continues to finetune the project, involving more colleagues from UF and other institutions, harnessing the collective energy and creativity to enhance content and students’ learning experience in spite of the limitations in place.
Enough interest ensued that within a week, Fox-Alvarez had received additional recorded rounds from several other educators. From UF, rounds were contributed from his wife as well as from Penny Regier, D.V.M., an assistant professor of small animal surgery, and Alexander Thompson, D.V.M, an anesthesiology resident. Also contributing was Jacqueline Whittemore, D.V.M., Ph.D., an associate professor of small animal surgery at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Whittemore, the first non-UF faculty member to volunteer to do a VICE rounds, said when she first read about the initiative, she was inspired to see people choosing to act in response to the pandemic, instead of to just their own circumstances. She worked deep into the night and wrapped up her first recording at 1 a.m.
“The biggest surprise for me has been all the feedback I have already received on it,” Whittemore said. “What has been more rewarding, however, is how much the catalog has grown between then and yesterday when I logged on to update the status for my newest rounds. It is a true testament to both the Fox-Alvarezes’ vision and the mettle of veterinary educators everywhere. We do, indeed, have some of the greatest jobs and colleagues on earth.”
Fox-Alvarez said he knew veterinary students everywhere in the clinical phase of their curriculum are probably disappointed that they are missing out on their clinical clerkships.
“But we are doing our damndest and so far, students have been very positive with feedback,” he said. “Although there is no substitute for experiential learning, VICE Rounds strive to emulate the clinical case experience using the unique resources and perspectives of veterinary educators from different specialties, universities and locations. I’m hopeful that this may serve as a lasting and reliable resource for students and veterinarians during an otherwise volatile time.”
- Due to post production delays, the 2020 “Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina,” which was taped Feb. 29 and scheduled to air Sunday, April 5 on NBC, will now air at a later date to be announced.
- In its original April 5 timeslot, (12:30-2:30 p.m. ET / 9:30-11:30 a.m. PT), NBC will broadcast the 2019 Beverly Hills Dog Show, featuring Best in Show winner Bono.
- Last year, a 3-year-old Havanese named Bono was crowned Best in Show. The little canine from the Toy group is the most-winning Havanese in the breed’s history with over 90 Best in Show titles. Previous Beverly Hills Dog Show winners include 2018’s King, a Wire Fox Terrier, and 2017’s Ripcord, a Doberman Pinscher.
- In celebration of man’s best friend and with the glamour only Beverly Hills can provide, the star-studded competition is co-hosted by award-winning TV personality, author and Broadway actor John O’Hurley and American Kennel Club-licensed judge and expert analyst David Frei.
- Hosted by the Kennel Club of Beverly Hills and produced by NBC Sports, “The Beverly Hills Dog Show Presented by Purina” is a new breed of dog show and must-see viewing for the whole family. Before more than 1,500 dogs representing 200 eligible breeds and varieties face off for the coveted Best in Show title, the canine competitors will mingle with celebrity guests and strut their stuff on the red carpet. For the main event, each group winner will walk the show’s unique runway for the Best in Show judge to determine which dog has what it takes to be champion.
All content © Doris Day Animal Foundation
By Sara Amundson and Kitty Block
As the COVID-19 crisis escalates, we are asking Congress to act quickly on an important bill that would ensure that millions of animals held in research laboratories and enterprises like puppy mills and roadside zoos across the country are not forgotten.
The Providing Responsible Emergency Plans for Animals at Risk of Emerging Disasters (PREPARED) Act, H.R. 1042, introduced last year by Reps. Dina Titus, D-Nev., and Peter King, R-N.Y., is ripe for passage, with more than 200 bipartisan cosponsors. The bill would require all facilities regulated under the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), including commercial animal dealers, exhibitors and research labs, to have emergency response plans for the animals in their care when disaster strikes.
This commonsense idea has been on the table for many years, but the urgency to pass it is greater today than ever before. With cities and states imposing quarantines and curfews, and businesses shuttering their doors and asking employees to stay home, animals in institutional settings are extremely vulnerable to neglect and/or abandonment. Our federal government has a responsibility to protect them, and to hold such facilities accountable.
The PREPARED Act would require regulated facilities to submit plans that identify emergency situations, including human and natural disasters (pandemics, hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, etc.), power outages and animal escapes, and institute specific policies and protocols to respond to these emergencies. Plans would need to include instructions for evacuating the animals, shelter-in-place, provision of backup food and water, sanitation, ventilation, bedding and veterinary care.
We already know that not including animals in disaster plans can lead to terrible outcomes. After Hurricane Katrina, more than 600,000 animals were abandoned. Some people refused to evacuate and lost their lives because they couldn’t bear to abandon their pets. At our urging, Congress then went on to pass the PETS Act, which required state and local authorities to take into account—and to plan for—the needs of individuals with household pets and service animals before, during and after a disaster. Unfortunately, the law did not cover commercially owned animals, which is the reason the Humane Society Legislative Fund has been pushing for the PREPARED Act.
Not requiring commercial facilities to have a plan in place also places undue burden on first responders, the local community and nongovernmental entities involved with rescue efforts. Because of Katrina and many other deployments, the Humane Society of the United States knows firsthand the difficulties of providing care for thousands of animals in a significant disaster, and the COVID-19 crisis is a disaster of a greater scale than our country has ever experienced.
Facilities doing National Institutes of Health-funded research are already required to have disaster plans for their animals, as are those accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care (AAALAC) International and by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. The PREPARED Act would simply level the playing field to ensure that puppy mills, roadside zoos and other regulated facilities also have emergency response plans. It’s a win-win for the businesses too, because it helps them safeguard their activity while ensuring animals they use are not abandoned without care in a time of crisis.
The world around us is changing every day. As we focus on keeping ourselves and our loved ones safe, we cannot and should not forget the millions of voiceless animals in puppy mills, roadside zoos and research labs. They need our help now, more than ever. Please take a moment to contact your federal legislators and urge them to cosponsor the PREPARED Act if they haven’t yet, and do all they can to get this bill passed immediately.
Kitty Block is President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States.
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Robert K. Oermann Dubs "Promising" Hanson DisCovery Award Winner of the Week on Music Row
Premiered exclusively by The Boot, Angela Stefano writes, “‘Part of Me’ is infectious, and perhaps a bit cathartic for those working through a breakup. Fans of Dan + Shay and Devin Dawson will find that it fits in nicely alongside those artists' songs on a playlist.”
"His jaunty tenor has an emotional tug. Promising." - Robert K. Oermann, MusicRow Magazine. The acclaimed music reviewer also named Hanson the DisCovery Award winner of the week.
"As a songwriter and artist it's important to me that every song I sing I can relate to it, that's what allows it to be most authentic. ‘Part of Me’ was certainly a song that I lived and got inspiration from when dealing with a very difficult breakup not too long ago. My hope for this song is that people going through a similar situation can relate and know that although it’s difficult, they aren’t alone, it's part of being human” said Joe Hanson.
After testing the waters in both Christian and Country music, the two formats he was raised on, Hanson knew that he was being called to pursue country music. Since moving to town he has had the opportunity to attend writers retreats, where he met Keesy Timmer, who’d penned Kelsea Ballerini’s “Yeah Boy” and since then has been writing with other incredible hit songwriters from BMG, Sony ATV, and CURB including Jason Duke, Will Nance, Mark Irwin, Victoria Banks and many more. He’s also had the opportunity to open for some of Nashville’s best including Brantley Gilbert, Randy Houser, Russell Dickerson and Lindsay Ell. This year, Hanson is focused on an EP, creating content and adding shows to his calendar. For more information about Hanson go to his website.
About Joe Hanson
Singer/songwriter Joe Hanson is already breaking the mold, and he’s brand new to country music. He is equipped with a striking tenor voice and a knack for shaping a melody like a sculptor with stone: tastefully and expressively. Even now, Hanson knows how to write the kind of songs that stick in your head, with lyrics that reflect the bitter and the sweet he’s tasted in life. And while he seems to have been born to sing country music — in fact, he probably was — it took Hanson a while to decide whether his destiny was in Christian music, on which he was raised back in Naperville, Illinois alongside country stalwarts like Randy Travis, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, John Denver and more. After experimenting with various sounds and projects, Hanson knew that his calling was to make country music, so he officially moved to Nashville. Since moving to town he has had the opportunity to attend writers retreats, where he met Keesy Timmer, who’d penned Kelsea Ballerini’s “Yeah Boy.” Hanson has also had the opportunity to open for some of Nashville’s best including Brantley Gilbert, Randy Houser, Russell Dickerson and Lindsay Ell. This year, Hanson is working on an EP to be released in 2020. For more information about Hanson go here joehansonmusic.com.
The Coronavirus and Pets
What pet owners should know
ORLANDO, FL – March 12, 2020 – Are your pets at risk? Can they get the Coronavirus or spread it? Nearly ⅔ of Americans own pets. The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC), the world’s leading provider of continuing education for veterinary professionals, shares the following information regarding pets and the Coronavirus.
“Viruses are usually unique to each species and it is unusual for a virus to jump between species. It's very unlikely that household pets like dogs or cats will transmit this Coronavirus to people and there is no evidence at this point that dogs or cats will become ill from this disease,” said Dr. Dana Varble, NAVC Chief Veterinary Officer. “There is no cause for alarm, but it is smart to skip the face kisses for now and wash your hands and face regularly after being with pets. Always include your pets in your emergency preparedness plans.”
- There are many different Coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS, but there is currently no evidence that dogs or cats are at risk of developing the COVID-19 illness from SARS-CoV-2 or that they can spread it to humans.
- Since other infectious diseases can spread between animals and humans, it is prudent to always exercise good hygiene when people, especially children, are around animals. This includes washing your hands after touching, feeding or cleaning up after your pet.
- Prepare your pets, just as you prepare your family, for an emergency. This includes stocking up on a 14 -day supply of food, medications (don’t forget subscription medications), litter and other supplies. (The CDC offers additional information: https://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/emergencies/index.html)
- Make sure your pets’ medical records and shots are up to date in the event you cannot care for them and need to board your pet.
- As always, if your pet appears to be sick, seek the advice of your veterinarian.
About Dr. Dana Varble
Dana Varble has practiced clinical medicine in exotic pet, small animal general practice and emergency medicine and continues to serve as an associate veterinarian on a limited basis for Chicago Exotics Animal Hospital in Skokie Illinois and as a relief veterinarian for emergency services. She has spoken locally, nationally, and internationally at conferences and seminars on herpetological and exotic animal medicine and surgery and has written several publications in the same field. She joined the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarians (ARAV) in 2003, served on the board of directors from 2008 to 2014, and was the president of ARAV from 2012 to 2013. She is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Association of Exotic Mammal Veterinarians. In January 2015, she joined NAVC as the Executive Director of ARAV and progressed to the Senior Director of Hands-On workshops in October 2017. In October 2018 she was promoted to Vice President of Veterinary Education and in January 2020 she was promoted to Chief Veterinary Officer. She shares her home with a mixed-up brown dog named Hannah and four ball pythons, Phil, Jake, Hickok and Saffron.
About the NAVC
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Orlando, Florida, with offices in Gainesville, Florida, the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) is a non-profit organization providing world-class professional development to the global veterinary healthcare community. Its largest initiative, VMX, formerly known as the NAVC Conference, hosts thousands of veterinary professionals each year. Other offerings include VetFolio, an online CE platform in conjunction with LifeLearn Animal Health; the NAVC Institute; the Veterinary Innovation Council; an Industry Services Division; NAVC Retriever, a veterinary recruitment platform and job search app; and its Media division, consisting of: Today's Veterinary Business, Today’s Veterinary Nurse, Today’s Veterinary Practice, Veterinary Advantage and an online news and lifestyle channel, Spark! In 2018, the NAVC launched its Certifications division including the Human-Animal Bond Certification and added the Veterinary Business Leader Certification and the Pet Nutrition Coach Certification in 2019. Visit NAVC.com for more details.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (February 21, 2020) – Yesterday CMT premiered rising country star Karissa Ella’s poignant music video for her single “More Like Her” off her EP Blossom on CMT.com. Throughout the video, shots switch between present-day Karissa and a younger version of herself as she sings about wanting to be that little girl she once was. Finding that feeling of innocence is one that we can all relate to. Watch the video here. “More Like Her” was written by Karissa with collaborator Caroline Marquard.
“I am so excited for everyone to see ‘More Like Her’ come to life! This is one of my favorite songs I wrote with Caroline Marquard because it is so relatable. Thank you to Quinton Cook and his team for producing this video! I hope you all love it and remember to never lose your inner child” said Karissa Ella.
CMT.com says that Ella’s video is “a reminder to not sweat the small stuff [...] in her beautiful new video.”
In 2019, Ella released Blossom, a collection of songs all written or co-written by the young songstress. Her first single, “Vacay” was featured on Radio Disney Country and Parade called it, “the perfect soundtrack for those days in the sun… upbeat, nostalgic and lighthearted.”
Keep up to date with Karissa at her website, Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.
About Karissa Ella
Karissa Ella’s youthful and soulful style is a breath of fresh air in today’s world of country music. Inspired by the likes of Shania Twain, Gretchen Wilson, Garth Brooks and Carrie Underwood, her music, writing and live performances attract people of all ages. Armed with a Music Entertainment Degree from Belmont University and having been singing for crowds from the young age of 10 years old, Karissa is one of country music’s rising stars! Karissa Ella currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee and performs at venues and private venues throughout the U.S, especially in Tenn., Wis. and Ohio. In June 2018, she completed her first EP, having co-wrote two of the three songs. “Had Enough,” “Get Drunk Drink” and “Yard Sale” are all songs that are representative of what’s happening on today’s country music scene. Her second EP, Blossom, came out Summer 2019 with songs like “VACAY” already featured by Parade.com and “Me and Luke” by Medium and Taste of Country. Plan on spending a lot of time cruising along with Karissa Ella and Blossom! For more information, visit karissaella.com.
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RALEIGH, NC (February 27, 2020) – The AKC Canine Health Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing the health of all dogs and their owners, has recently awarded over $2.1 million in 36 new canine health research grants.
Celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2020, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) awards grants for research projects that meet the highest scientific standards and have the greatest potential to advance the health of all dogs. In this latest round of grants, promising studies in many areas of canine health research, including canine oncology and neurology, are now possible. These new grants address important cancer diagnosis, treatment, and prevention, including for canine lymphoma, osteosarcoma, bladder cancer, soft tissue sarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma. CHF is responsive to donors, dog owners, breeders, and the veterinary community in focusing on areas of greatest need for canine health, including studies with One Health implications to benefit both dogs and humans.
Highlights from the new canine health research grants include:
Grant 02772: Identifying Early Stage Ultra-rare Mutations as Predictive Biomarkers of Lymphoma in High-risk versus Low-risk Breeds Within the Dog Aging Project
Principal Investigator: Daniel Promislow, PhD; University of Washington
Canine lymphoma risk associated with variation in the frequency and type of rare precancerous mutations will be evaluated in this large cohort study. This work is part of the Dog Aging Project, a groundbreaking study seeking to understand how genes, lifestyle, and environment influence aging.
Grant 02773: Histotripsy for Treatment of Canine Appendicular Osteosarcoma
Principal Investigator: Joanne Tuohy, DVM; Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
A precision non-thermal focused ultrasound method that mechanically breaks down tissues and can potentially activate the immune system against osteosarcoma will be studied as an alternative treatment for primary and metastatic osteosarcoma in dogs.
Grant 02732-A: Tumor-educated Platelets: A Minimally Invasive Liquid Biopsy for Early Cancer Diagnosis
Principal Investigator: Unity Jeffery, VetMB, PhD; Texas A&M AgriLife Research
A study of platelet RNA profiles as a first step in developing a blood-based screening test or liquid biopsy for canine cancer.
Grant 02802: Clinical Trial of Prevotella histicola Supplementation to Ameliorate Meningoencephalomyelitis of Unknown Origin (MUO)
Principal Investigator: Nick Jeffery, BVSc, PhD; Texas A&M University
A study of the important relationship between the canine gut, its microbiome, and the brain to test a new treatment for this devastating immune-mediated disease of the central nervous system of dogs which resembles multiple sclerosis in humans.
02800: Defining the Effect of Genotype, Breed and Age on the Risk of Developing Canine Degenerative Myelopathy and Investigating the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying That Risk
Principal Investigators: Gary Johnson, DVM, PhD and Joan Coates, DVM, MS; University of Missouri
Defining the risk of developing degenerative myelopathy in genetically at-risk dogs will inform breeding decisions while exploring the molecular mechanisms responsible for disease onset will aid in disease management.
“These recent cancer and neurological disease grants for research demonstrate innovative approaches to understanding the genetic, environmental, and hormonal factors that influence disease,” states CHF Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Diane Brown. “Along with our recently awarded grants to study gastrointestinal disease, toxicology, immunology, and more, CHF leads the way to new and compelling canine health research that will make possible diagnostic and treatment breakthroughs benefitting all dogs and their owners.”
With these research grants, CHF has now surpassed a milestone of 1,000 research and educational grants awarded since they were founded by the American Kennel Club in 1995. CHF independently manages $11.1 million in 153 active canine health research grants, available to view in their Research Grants Portfolio at akcchf.org/researchportfolio. Requests for proposals on reproductive conditions, dental disease, tick-borne disease, and more are scheduled throughout 2020. View CHF’s latest canine health research grants awarded in 2020 at www.akcchf.org/research/research-portfolio/program-area/2020_Awarded_Grants.html.
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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 $56 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 www.akcchf.org.