179 — Non Profit Foundations Benefit our Breeds | Pure Dog Talk
Non Profit Foundations Benefit our Breeds
The Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation, created by members of the Clumber Spaniel Club of America, is a non profit organization dedicated to raising funds for health research in their beloved breed. A low registration breed with a relatively small gene pool, the breeders were making progress on the breed’s health issues, but wanted to do more.
It Is Our Responsibility to Act
“While there is no doubt our breed has come a long way in the last 25 years,” CSHF President Jen Amundsen notes on the organization’s web site, “health issues such as immune mediated hemolytic anemia, disc disease, cardiomyopathy and hemangiosarcoma are taking many of our Clumbers much too early in life. It is our responsibility to act.”
Dr. Roe Froman, DVM referenced the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” as her rallying cry in creating the group that formed the Foundation.
This group has, in fact, changed their world. The CSCA, with a membership of roughly 300, has raised over $100,000 for the Foundation in the last 10 years. The DNA bank Froman created also helped identify gene markers and DNA testing for PDP1, a very specific neurological disease, that is now virtually eliminated in the breed.
CSHF pools its resources through the AKC’s Canine Health Foundation, Morris Animal Foundation and others, to support research being done on diseases of specific importance to the Clumber Spaniel.
Amundsen, an attorney who specializes in work that affects dog owners, provides an excellent tutorial in this episode about the actual how and why of creating a 501c3 non-profit organization for dog clubs. Groups seeking non-profit status for fundraising on health research, rescue, education or any similar venture, will value her suggestions.
While some of the more populous breeds’ parent clubs have already created Foundations to address some of these topics, Amundsen and Froman give hope, encouragement and direction to members of smaller clubs for ways in which they can create a positive impact for their breeds
Don’t miss Allison Foley’s Tip of the Week from the Leading Edge Dog Show Academy on flying with your dog in cabin and how to get through airport screening safely and easily with your pet in a carry-on bag.
KNOWLEDGE IS POWER — FRANCIS BACON
Pure Dog Talk is grateful to all of the mentors in our sport who support us with their knowledge, their kindness and their generosity. JOIN us today in providing access to this invaluable “watering hole” for anyone who is thirsty for knowledge. Your pledge of as little as $5/month helps guide the next generation of dog fanciers. Click the “Be My Patron on Podbean” button to join our “listener supported” team at Pure Dog Talk.
DON'T MISS AN EPISODE!!
TRANSCRIPT NON PROFITS FOR OUR BREEDS
Pure Dog Talk is the voice of purebred dogs. We talk to the legends of the sport and give you the tips and tools to create an awesome life with your purebred dog. From showing to preservation breeding, from competitive obedience to field work, from agility to therapy dogs, and all the fun in between – your passion is our purpose!
LAURA REEVES: Welcome to Pure Dog Talk. I am your host, Laura Reeves. And I am joined today at the Clumber Spaniel Club of America National Specialty by Dr Roe Foreman. She is a Clumber Spaniel breeder, exhibitor, and also a Veterinarian. And she has been very actively involved in the Clumber Health Foundation and the establishment of it and the development of it and all of the great things that it is doing for the breed today. So welcome, Roe! LR: So talk to us a little bit, too, because we were talking about the DNA bank that you put together and particularly the story about the PDP 1. That’s a great piece to share.
RF: So, I think it was Margaret Mead who said, “Never underestimate the power of a few people accomplishing something because it’s the only thing that’s ever worked.”
LR: Yes the power of people put their mind to something to accomplish it and they do it.
RF: Yep. It doesn’t take a lot of people it takes a few dedicated people anywhere.
LR: Absolutely. I remember – I was there you were the person who was pushing everybody to get it done.
RF: We just thought it was time. We looked and we saw the Boxer Club. They have a Boxer Health Foundation that’s amazing. Portuguese Water Dog Club is a small club with a very active Health Foundation.
RF: The Golden Retriever Club of America. Our breed has health issues and we thought well a way to really be able to deal with them – the health committee is great with the Clumber Spaniel Club of America. But it had constraints. It had budgetary constraints. The whole budget for the Clumber Spaniel Club of America is less than the budget of the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation. And it’s not that we have a huge budget. We’re probably $30-40,000 a year. We’re a little club.
LR: I mean you’re talking about a club that has 300 members and you’ve raised – you told me a little bit earlier – you’ve raised how much money?
RF: We have spent in grant money and allocated for educational purposes over $105,000 in the last 10 years.
LR: I think that’s incredible.
RF: We thought that was incredible. We didn’t realize – because you do $15-20,000 a year and it adds up after a little while out. And the reason we can do that is because there are dedicated people in the Clumber community.
LR: And they are donating to the Clumber Foundation?
RF: It’s a 501c3 health foundation. So that means it’s a non-profit and your contributions – please send them – we would love to get them.
LR: I’ll make sure there is a link for you guys to find a way to do that.
RF: There’s a Pay Pal button on the website – it says donate now. Take advantage of it – if I’ve ever helped you push that button and donate now. <laughter>
LR: And Roe has helped a lot of people!
RF: We do it for the good of the breed. We really thought – we have health issues in this breed. We want to see our dogs live long healthy happy lives. There’s nothing sadder than a dog that you lose at six or seven, right in the prime of their life, for something that maybe didn’t have to happen. And Jane Priest was actually instrumental. I was the founding president, but I know she was also on the board of the Clumber Spaniel Club of America at that time and said, “You know, if you ever want to do it, we better do it now,” So we did it.
RF: So we got a group of volunteers together for the first board a little bit over a decade ago. We had to really learn how to set up this foundation, how is it all legal-…
LR: We’re going to speak to <…> Diamondson – she is an attorney who is a Clumber fancier who <RF: She was invaluable> put this together. So if you’re out there in your national club what are some of the reasons that she would do this?
RF: Because we can fundrais specifically for health. We’re not tied to the Clumber Spaniel Club’s budget. We cannot be tied to that budget or that club because we’ll lose our tax status and that’s very important. People are always willing to help. They’re even more willing to help if they get a tax deduction for it and I have no problem with that.
LR: And the 501c3 status is what makes you able to do that as the foundation-…
RF: Within the limits of the law – check with your attorney or CPA. Basically, usually tax deductible. And then that gives us greater funds to support researchers. And we have supported a lot of different grants. We do usually $3-5,000 per grant. But when you put that together with $3-5,000 from lots of other groups which is usually what happens and some grants are small.
LR: You are working through the AKC Canine Health Foundation and you said also-…
RF: Also Morris Animal Health Foundation. Researchers are aware of those groups so they tend to submit proposals to those groups. They share them with us. We submit them to our scientific advisory committee. A lot of times the board of the Foundation will maybe go, “Oh we think these five to seven look good out of the thirty five. We’ll send those to our scientific advisory committee; They will come back with their recommendations of why they think this is a good proposal, or that idea’s good but maybe the methods are quite there.” So we have outside input from really qualified people, their bios are on our website – our new website – as of April 1st, please check that out. We also really work hard disseminating information about health issues in the breed.
RF: One of the ways we do that is sponsoring a speaker every year at the National. Last year we helped fund and put on the international symposium
LR: And you’re making it so every member of the Clumber Spaniel Club of America who’s here at the National can attend, free, the educational seminar that we live stream on Pure Dog Talk.
RF: <laughter> Yay! Thank you so much – we’re so glad you’re doing that. But it also makes it, for every person who is not at the National can actually participate.
LR: And people who don’t have Clumber Spaniels – we have some of our Pure Dog Talk people are coming because it’s an interesting topic. The Clumber Health Foundation is educating other breeds and so this is – well sure – and people <RF: We learn from them – they learn from us> from throughout the purebred dog community.
RF: It’s pretty amazing. One of the coolest things that ever happened was, PDP 1 is a genetic disease. We didn’t really even know we had this condition because it’s very rare. And a man who had a dog he loved dearly, unfortunately, suffered from that condition. The dog died at two or three years of age – he was devastated and he was a Bull Dog. And Ron went after this – God bless Ron Porres for doing this – and he just searched and searched and plugged away until he found researchers willing to work on it. So, he kind of did this independently and he had gotten a researcher at UC Davis very interested in it and they thought that they maybe had a line on the gene. There was a human doctor.
LR: Yes! This is the part that’s really fascinating to me. I do a lot of conversation with NAIA and animal research stuff and some of this crossover – ways in which we are researching and dogs and people – it’s just incredible.
RF: It’s amazing. I did it for three years. I was a sample collector for canine cancer research group. That’s exactly what we did. There are good analogues for deceases in people. So PDP-1 in Clumber Spaniels and Sussex Spaniels is the same genetic disorder that affects children and teenagers. <LR: Oh my gosh.> There was a researcher at the University of Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital that was researching PDP-1 in teenagers. So they sent their work to Jessie Cameron. Jessie Cameron was pretty sure she had the gene and needed to validate that.
RF: And at that point they contacted me as the DNA banker and said, “Is there a way we could get samples from 100 Clumbers,” thinking we would recruit a hundred Clumbers and get samples – and I said, “We have a DNA bank,” – it was housed in Canada at the time – and I said, “We can FedEx them to you tomorrow,” and we literally did that. They validated that it indeed the gene they thought it was. She published the paper on it and we discovered we had a 24% carrier rate which meant we were breeding carriers to carriers all the time without any idea it was happening. Now, this is speculation on my part – this is purely anecdotal – but since we have had the test, our litter sizes have dramatically gone up. Four-to-five puppies used to be pretty standard. When I started in 1994, with this breed, four-to-six was pretty typical and we thought that was pretty good. But most sporting breeds have big litters. Since we’ve had PDP 1 testing, I know we’ve had a litter of 10. I know a lot of people have had 8/9/10 puppies … 11 … 12 getting to be much more routine. My suspicion, and we have not been able to document it, because it’s probably a lethal recessive gene – we know it’s a simple recessive. Because if we have a 24% cure rate why are there only two or three or four affecteds born? I think they don’t survive and there’s no way to prove it. We have not been able to document it. But it makes me wonder and correlation is not causation – and I understand that. But it does make me go, “Hmm…” That’s where progress starts.
LR: So these are great opportunities. Both of these things the Clumber Health Foundation and the DNA bank – excellent suggestions/ideas for other clubs who have not done this job for these reasons.
RF: Yes the DNA bank is very near and dear to my heart. I mean I started it out of passion for the breed and I’ve seen the things that it can do. But I’ve also seen the limitations now and as time goes on and technology gets even better, I’m starting to think there are probably going to be better ways than physically taking blood samples or cheek swabs and extracting DNA and saving it. Because when we run the genetic analyses – they run them on something called a SNIP chip. So it looks at all these little tiny portions of the genome and it says yep this dog has this gene, this dog has that gene, or they have this variation of that gene. So each SNIP counts as one thing. So when I was in research just a few years back we had 70,000 and that was the newest and best and that was really cool. Well, they’re at 200,000 snips now. So if you think about it, if you run that 200 SNIP plate on a dog’s DNA, and that data is in a computer, you don’t need the DNA any more. You need that data. That’s what is going to be, I think, in the future of DNA banking. So we’re just starting to explore possibilities there.
LR: So how would you get the data other than from blood or saliva?
RF: It’s computerized. Oh, you do it from saliva but you don’t have to store the saliva – you store the data.
RF: So I think going forward-..
LR: Probably will take a lot less space
RF: Yep, no more liquid nitrogen <laughter> I think that that’s going to be a really interesting advancement in the science. <LR: Very cool.> And then you have a computer base that’s accessible to any researcher. So instead of having a finite amount of DNA and how you parcel that out, that data is good for anybody who wants to use it.
LR: So going forward what are your future plans for the Clumber Health Foundation?
RF: We’d like to grow it. We have very dedicated supporters but really not tons of them at this point. And there are a lot of people out there with Clumber Spaniels and I think part of us are just not aware of what the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation is. A) They don’t know it exists, B) They don’t know what it does and they don’t know how to contribute. So now you know <inaudible> and now you know why and what we try to do and there’s a “Donate Now” button on the website.
LR: Absolutely …
RF: Which is near and dear to our hearts.
LR: Click that PayPal button!
RF: And if you end up in the top echelon, this a little – not really a secret – but when we do our annual report every year which is also on the Web site we like pictures. Everybody likes pretty pictures of their dogs … so if you’re one of our top donors, and that variable changes every year, you’re likely to get a request for pictures of your dog to show your dog in our annual report. <inaudible>
RF: So no … but really it’s for the betterment of the breed. We want very healthy long-lived dogs. We want people that don’t have to worry about their dogs dying tomorrow of an unfortunate condition that maybe we could eliminate with some money and some research.
LR: And I just think that the PDP-1 is pretty impressive. The fact that the breed – your DNA and your health foundation allowed you to cut that off at the pass.
RF: Yeah that was really amazing. I mean there was a lot of work done by an individual but then the DNA bank let that just come into fruition to a test that people can actually use. No affected PDP-1 puppy ever has to be born again. I met one in person once at a National. And she said, “Oh we have her in the motor home,” and I said, “Could I please see her? I’ve never seen one. I mean it’s really rare condition.” And it was heartbreaking because this is a young healthy puppy – she was maybe 18 months old – she started walking across a big parking lot and it took maybe five minutes before she started staggerin,g looking like she was having a seizure, and then fell down and couldn’t get up because they can’t get rid of the waste products from exercise. It’s not EIC – it’s not an exercise induced collapse. They’re are two separate conditions that kind of resemble each other, but not really. And then they lay there for 10-15 minutes and things kind of dissipate and they can get up and go again. People don’t know the puppies have it when they’re little because puppies play and they fall down, and they play and they rest. And they play and they rest. You put them in an owner’s home and they start taking them for actual leash walks and that’s when they start figuring out there was an issue. So much better to just prevent that. And now we can.
RF: And not every disease will be that easy but we look to help with treatments – ok, we can’t eliminate this disease, can we find better treatments for it? Can we find better ways to test early? Are there things that people can do to manage it? So we really try to attack things from every angle that we can find a researcher willing to work. We’re studying IMHA. We’re funding a research project with Dr. Steve Gutenberg at University of Minnesota. So independent researchers can contact the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation. There are guidelines on the website. If you have a study that you think would be pertinent to our breed, believe me we are likely to want to help you! <laughter>
LR: Awesome. Excellent. Well thank you so much, Roe, I appreciate your time.
RF: Yes – happy to help.
LAURA REEVES: Welcome back listeners. This is Laura Reeves, your host of Pure Dog Talk. And I am joined now by Jennifer Amundsen and she is the attorney who set up the foundation paperwork for the Clumber Health Foundation. She is a Clumber Spaniel owner and breeder and exhibitor, and she has some great information for us today on how you can set up a foundation for your dog club. Why you might want to do that, and all that sort of legal beagle stuff. So welcome Jennifer.
JENNIFER AMUNDSEN: Thank you it’s great to be here.
LR: Thanks so much. So take us through the kinds of steps that you took to create the Clumber Health Foundation and why that was an important thing to do. Maybe starting with Why.
JA: Sure. So the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation was an organization that decided to bring me onboard as they were getting started. And there was already I think, a core group of people at that point, it was 10 years ago – almost 11 years ago now, that were involved and they brought me in and asked if I would help to formalize the arrangements so that they would actually be an entity. And the reason that it is important to do that is because one of the primary purposes of our foundation is to raise funds for various things, and in order to get donations it really helps if your donations can be tax deductible. And to do that you need to be a 501c3 organization. So you need to have some formalities in place.
LR: So your job then is to create the legal structure for, in this case a 501c3 tax exempt entity. Is that how it works?
JA: Correct. That’s typically how we describe it.
LR: And there are other types of entities under the tax code. But I would think that a 501c3 would be the most common type of structure – is that correct for a dog club?
JA: So each state actually has different types of entities. We organized in Wisconsin just because that’s where I happen to be, and in Wisconsin we organize as what’s called a non-stock corporation. And so you need to do your state organization before you can move on to the federal step of going through the IRS process to be a tax exempt. Bible one 501c3 is ultimately what you want to be at the federal level in order to make sure that people’s donations are tax exempt.
LR: OK very good. And the types of dog clubs that would do this for example, I know that the German Wirehaired Pointer Club, oh 10-15 years ago, created German Wirehaired Pointer rescue as a separate 501c3 and there were some legal ramifications for that as well in terms of liability in the case of a rescue dog that bit someone or something along those lines.
JA: Right. That is probably a bigger issue for a group that’s going to do rescue work. So to step back a little bit, it is going to be a separate organization from the club and that is because the club generally is not going to meet the IRS test that would allow you to be tax exempt. There are specific criteria and I haven’t looked at them in a while but generally it’s going to be like you need an educational/scientific/charitable purpose. I think those are the three main categories. So a club is more like a fraternal organization and while there is a better tax treatment for those organizations, the donations are not going to be tax deductible in the same way as a 501c3. So your foundation, whether it be for rescue or health purposes as we have, needs to be a separate legal entity from your club and then, yes, you’re right – specially with something like a rescue – you’re going to have liability issues. It’s going to be very important to make sure that you get liability insurance that covers your officers and directors, so that they’re not going to be on the hook personally if you have that dog bite situation.
LR: And that is for the rescue entity that you create.
JA: Correct. Now that’s not to say that your club, if it’s involved similarly with rescue, you wouldn’t need the insurance and it’s also not to say that other types of foundations shouldn’t have officers and directors insurance. I’d say that is a good thing to have in any case.
LR: Excellent. OK so with that as a “why would you do it” and “who should do it”, let’s give people a little bit of a framework about how you would go about creating this nonprofit entity for your dog club, whether it is an educational entity or a health research as it is in your case, a rescue group whatever it is. There’s a lot of different opportunities within the purebred dog fancy that could make use of this particular tool.
JA: Absolutely. I think that’s a very good point. It doesn’t have to be limited to just health or rescue you could really do anything. You come up with a purpose that you want to do and if you can make it a 501c3 depends on whether it fits the IRS criteria. So, your first step as I said, is you’re going to have to organize at the state level just as you would organize a limited liability company or a corporation of some sort. Some states, like in Wisconsin, do have a special type of organization. Here it’s called a non-stock corporation. So we don’t have shareholders the way a traditional corporation would, but we do have an entity – The Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation Inc. It’s a non-stock corporation, incorporated in Wisconsin, and in order to incorporate you normally are going to need to do articles of incorporation. Some states have a different name for it. They might call it a certificate of incorporation, something like that. And bylaws … and those are also going to be very important when you’re going to the IRS with your application, because they require to have certain provisions in there. One thing that’s required, that your bylaws have a provision that says if the corporation is ever dissolved any funds that you have on hand at that time have to be distributed for other tax exempt purposes. So in other words you can’t spend a bunch of time fundraising, accumulate tens of thousands of dollars in your treasury and then decide to dissolve and distribute the money to the board members, for example.
LR: That would be naughty.
JA: Yes the IRS would view that as very naughty. <laughter> So they do require you to have a provision for that in your bylaws. And obviously we would not distribute it to board members but maybe it would be another organization that has a purpose that aligns with your purpose like the AKC Canine Health Foundation in our case, or something like that. I don’t think you actually have to name the organization up front but you just have to have a provision that says how that’s going to happen.
LR: And this is a pretty time consuming process if I remember what we went through when I was involved with it with my club right?
JA: Well it certainly was and certainly has been. I haven’t done a 501c3 application in a while. I just had a club ask me to put together a proposal for them to possibly create a foundation, and so I’ve been looking around and my understanding is that there is a more streamlined 501c3 application process. Not surprisingly, because it’s a federal form. The regular one I think is form 1023 and now they have a 1023 E Z like your tax forms. So my understanding is that if you meet some specific thresholds, like you anticipate you will raise less than a certain amount of money within the first, say, I think three years or something like that. Then you can fill out the EZ form and my understanding is it’s much less time consuming because the regular form asks about – name all of your employees that make over $50,000. Well, I mean we’re not the Red Cross here, people, we’re a dog club. <laughter> We don’t have any employees that make $50,000. And you know we’d love to be raising that much money but in a small breed it’s not going to happen. So yeah, I would guess most breeds, if they were going to try to start a health foundation, probably could meet the criteria for filling out that simplified form.
LR: OK. Very good. And then structurally, other than it is not an actual share holding corporation at the state level, are there any other types of structural things that you recommend for a club that’s trying to create this entity that they would like to take on to be a 501c3.
JA: So the way that we have structured the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation is that we have what’s known as a self-perpetuating board and that just means that you have your board, and the board is who chooses directors so that if we as a group lose someone or if we need to take on additional directors, we select those people. And that’s pretty common for a small non-profit to do it that way. You can certainly structure things in whatever way you think is going to work best for your particular organization.
JA: We do have a relationship with the Clumber Spaniel Club. We’re an independent organization, which I stressed because I think there’s some confusion sometimes on that point, and it is very important from a tax perspective that we be independent. But we do have that relationship, so we do have a member of the Clumber Spaniel Club of America board that sits on our board as a director also.
LR: OK very good.
JA: You wouldn’t have to do it that way necessarily but that’s how the foundation and the club chose to set it up.
LR: So just kind of in general any other areas of interest that you would think that this type of setup would serve? For example, on the show, we’ve talked about the Otter Hound semen bank and they had to set up a similar type of thing. Anything like this that you can think of?
JA: That’s a good question. I mean I think the Otter Hounds Semen Bank is a fabulous idea and a fabulous example.
LR: Actually. The Otter Hound Reproduction Bank – I should make that correction – Otter Hound Reproduction Bank – because they have set it up specifically with the idea that at some point they could cryogenically save ovaries.
JA: Wow. Oh that’s fantastic.
LR: So rescue health, reproductive health, any kind of educational thing – you mentioned education as one of the topics – so you could do this as a breed education for your breed. Something along those lines.
JA: Yeah that might be a possibility. It’s a little harder for me to see the clubs, or I guess any club, making that big an investment in education. But I can also see where this could create opportunities for clubs to work together. So for example one thing I’ve always thought of is perhaps a Rare Spaniel Health Foundation. I haven’t got anything like that going yet, but something like that so that maybe smaller breeds can band together. They could share that way the cost of creating the entities. We don’t have a lot of administrative costs associated with the Clumber Spaniel Health Foundation. So most of our donations really do go towards supporting research which is fabulous. But there were some startup costs involved, so if it’s a small breed it might be nice to be able to share those. And if you’re creating a separate entity that’s the perfect opportunity.
LR: I like that. Okay. Any other basic tips? In other words, this is something you really need legal assistance for I think, yes?
JA: I would say so, although perhaps with the streamlined IRS application procedure it might be less likely. I mean certainly that’s going to make it less expensive to do this. You may want help with your articles of incorporation and bylaws, primarily for the purpose of making sure that you do have the required IRS language in there. I had worked with an attorney one time who was representing a nonprofit and she had done their bylaws but she didn’t really know that those things need to go in there. So we had to amend. So it’s not that it’s the end of the world, but you’d like to avoid that if possible. It all works out in the end.
JA: That’s the main thing when you’re starting, if you want to probably look at the IRS first and then decide from there do your articles and bylaws so that you make sure you have those requirements.
LR: Do some research on your state about where you want to incorporate it.
JA: That’s exactly what I was going to say next. In the case of the Clumbers we chose Wisconsin, like I say, because that’s where I am and I was doing the work. In some cases, if you’re a dog club it might make sense to do this in whatever state you’re already incorporated in. Maybe if only because you’re already familiar with filing the annual report for example – which you’ll have to do, obviously, every year as the name implies.
LR: And that is something specific to the nonprofit that you have to file that annual report each year.
JA: Well no that’s actually specific to a corporation. Most states have requirements that corporations have to file an annual report every year. It doesn’t apply in every state but it is a very common state requirement for every corporation. And that would include a nonprofit whatever form it’s in. You know some clubs have been incorporated for so long, that maybe they were incorporated in – I don’t know, Arkansas – because whoever was the club secretary at the time they formed was in Arkansas. So that’s what they did. So there might be instances where it makes sense not to incorporate into the same state like if you no longer have someone that’s in Arkansas but you do need the state – some state – to formalize it in order to go to the IRS
LR: OK. Well thank you so very much. I hope that this information about the Federal Health Foundation has been useful to you guys, gave you some bright ideas maybe, and we’ll have links to this information as well as Jennifer’s dog savvy lawyer so that you can pick her brain if you need to do that. So thank you so much, Jen.
JA: Thank you!
LR: Appreciate it!
LR: All right listeners we are back with Allison Foley from The Leading Edge Dog Show Academy. And we always appreciate her fabulous tips of the week. She has an awfully good one for us this week. So welcome Allison.
ALLISON FOLEY: Thanks for having me Laura.
LR: Excellent. So let’s talk about flying the friendly skies with your dog in the cabin with you.
AF: Right. So I think this is a good one. You know we don’t really want to talk about putting our dog in the overhead compartment because that, you know, a very sad tale that happened and I think that’s been dealt with. But you know I recently had a young person who came out here and I lent them a Sherpa to take the puppy home that they bought. And we were driving up to the airport with her puppy and the Sherpa bag and she’s like I don’t know what to do when I get to security. And I thought this is a good tip of the week.
AF: If you would like to fly with your small dog, you know under the seat in front of you, on an airplane, this is what you do. You book your flight, you call the airline and you ask to book a pet in-cabin. And you tell them that you have the appropriate carrier and they’re going to tell you what the size limit. You know usually the airlines it’s between 20 and 25 pounds, the size of it. You need to make sure that your dog, you know, meets those requirements. So once you get to the airport I always tell people I don’t make a big fuss about my dog being in a Sherpa bag, or about the fact that I’m taking my dog on the plane, for a couple different reasons. Because, you know we don’t want people that maybe aren’t dog lovers like we are to get upset that there is a dog in the airport, or on the plane … because, you know the more people that start complaining about these kind of things – we’re going to start losing our privileges. You know people complaining about dogs and then the airlines start to take them away. So I don’t make a fuss. I just have the dog in the Sherpa bag, comfortable, you know I might privately sit in a corner and unzip it and pat them and give them a little drink, but I don’t have them out causing a ruckus.
AF: So when you get to security this is what I do. I put my Sherpa bag on the belt first. I then take my dog out of the Sherpa bag because you don’t want it going through the x-ray. And then I put all my other carry on on the belt after the Sherpa bag, because if I go through security and they decide to check any of my bags – or me – I want my dog bag through first so I can put my dog safely away while everything else is dealt with. So that I have my little Fifi under my arm. I walk through the scanner.
AF: If the scanner beeps where they have to come and wand me, you hold the dog under one arm, put the other arm out straight. They wand one side, put the dog under the other arm, they wand the other side and then you’re free to go. So I just thought it was something that you know if you haven’t done it before you might think, “What do I do? Do I leave it in the bag – do I take it out of the bag – when do I take it out of the bag. And you cannot walk it through the screener as you walk through – it has to be under your arm and it cannot be in a bag and go through the X-ray. It has to be with you. So I like to put the Sherpa the bag first and have it go through the X-ray so that if I’m getting secondary search that I have a safe place for my dog to be. Absolutely. That’s what you can expect.
LR: I like it. Now one other question Alison, and just something for people to think about, there are certain airlines that even in the cabin have restrictions on say brachiocephalic breeds. So there are certain airlines I can’t fly my Pug, no matter what. You know what I’m saying. So those are the sorts of things that you should check with your airline, yeah?
AF: Yes of course.
LR: Absolutely. All right. Well thank you so much Alison. We appreciate it. Listeners do not forget PureDogTalk25 in the checkout code of your Leading Edge Dog Show Academy course. Get 25 percent off your class purchase and have a cup of coffee on us.
AF: We’d love to see you there!
LR: Absolutely. Thank you Alison.
AF: Thank you so much Laura – Have a good day.
LR: You, too.
LR: The Dog show Superintendents Association is a proud supporter of Pure Dog Talk. Our dog show superintendents are the hard-working people who make the dog show function. They are advocates for education and mentorship in the purebred dog fancy. So stop by the Super’s desk at your next show. Tell them how much you love Pure Dog Talk and give them a shout out for their support. That’s all for today. Thank you for joining us on Pure Dog Talk.