The SBCA has traditionally conducted education and junior handler programs and has contributed externally to worthy Saint Bernard-related health research throughout its existence, with most of the funding coming from the Club’s general treasury and reserve funds. In 2011, the SBCA Charitable Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity trust, was formed as a separate legal entity to enable potential donors to contribute potentially tax-deductible funds and receive the tax benefits. While the Charitable Foundation is a separate organization, all sitting SBCA officers, at any given time, serve as trustees of the Charitable Foundation. Being a public charity, the Charitable Foundation is open to tax-deductible donations from public citizens and organizations in addition to the SBCA membership.

In January 2016, our Health Panel was tasked by the SBCA Board of Directors to recommend health studies that the Charitable Foundation could fund to the benefit of our Saint Bernard breed. We are pleased to report that our recommended funding projects have been approved and our “investments” have been the Osteosarcoma Initiative of the Morris Foundation. A brief description of these projects is included in this report.

The SBCA Health Panel’s mission statement is to effectively chart a course for the overall health and well-being of Saint Bernards. To accomplish this goal our strategy is to:

• Identify major Saint Bernard health issues.
• Research, analyze, and recommend to the SBCA Board of Directors scientifically valid studies on Saint Bernard diseases and health issues.
• Communicate to the Saint Bernard Fancy sound veterinary medical knowledge or advice.
• Encourage and support breeders in keeping good health records; and to help them participate in scientifically valid studies.

The SBCA Health Initiative becomes the recipient of our mission statement projects. For example, in the summer of 2014, a health questionnaire was sent to the SBCA membership. The results revealed that diseases of extreme importance to our breed include:

• Gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) Bloat

• Seizures (Idiopathic epilepsy)

• Osteosarcoma (OSA)

• Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM).

We have invested more than $50,000 via our foundation and donor advised funds in the GDV-Bloat AKC Canine Health Foundation studies since 2013. $10,000 in Epilepsy funding for the multi-year AKC CHF programs since 2014, and in 2017 we added $15,000 funding to three promising epilepsy studies: Identification of Genetic Risk Factors for Canine Epilepsy, Investigating a Ketogenic Medium Chain Triglyceride (MCT) supplement for the treatment of Drug Resistant Canine Epilepsy and Its Behavioral Comorbidities, and Identification of a Novel Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy (JME) Gene and Its Underlying Disease Mechanism.

Our newly funded research projects have catapulted the SBCA into major participation in Osteosarcoma studies.

The investment of $5,000 AKC the study A Cancer Vaccine for Canine Osteosarcoma and the investment of $25,000 from the SBCA CF in the Morris Animal Foundation’s Osteosarcoma Initiative. The studies include Evaluate the effectiveness of drugs to delay the onset of metastatic disease, Look for New Targeted Therapies for Osteosarcoma in Dogs, Understand Why and How Canine Osteosarcoma Tumors Spread, Understand Why and How Canine Osteosarcoma Tumors Spread, Predict chemotherapy drug response for dogs with bone cancer, and Establishing a standard-of-care control group for osteosarcoma treatment studies.

We are currently evaluating studies where our investment of CF funds will make a significant impact on the heart disease “dilated cardiomyopathy’, particularly as it pertains to our breed.

How YOU can make a positive impact on the Saint Bernard … 

Donate to the SBCA Charitable Foundation:

Prospective Donors wishing to verify the tax-deductible status of the Foundation as a public charity may do so using the IRS “Select Check” tool at:

NOTE: the SBCA Charitable Foundation EIN is 27-3985461.
For additional information, please contact:
James R. Brown, Executive Director,  (585) 737-7985
Penny Janz, Director of Records:  ((262) 392-2852
Brandy Mead, Director of Finances:  (925) 997-3289
Robert Carter, Webmaster:  (203) 734-2792

August, 2017