Unfortunately, not all dogs spend their whole lives with one loving family. But through Westminster’s support to Breed Rescue activities help many dogs get a second chance at happiness with a new family. National Breed Club volunteers from across the country work to rescue dogs in need with funds from breeders, owners and exhibitors involved in dog sports. Westminster is proud to support these volunteers and the tireless work they do to help dogs who need proper veterinary care, rehabilitation and often times training before they are available to a new family.
- Westminster’s first show in 1877 was so popular —with 20,000 daily visitors—the club extended the show for an extra day so that all proceeds from that day could be donated to the ASPCA to establish a home for stray and disabled dogs. Thus, a long relationship with a New York City institution for the humane treatment of animals was forged.
- Westminster’s charitable giving has included organizations that provide Disaster Relief for companion animals in the wake of natural disasters, including the AKC Companion Animal Recovery, AKC Humane Fund, AKC Reunite, ASPCA and the Humane Society of the United States.
- Beginning in 2018, the club began donating annually to three AKC-recognized National Breed Clubs to support their dog breed rescue activities. These annual Westminster Gives Back Award donations assists clubs in offsetting rescue expenses such as transportation, veterinary care, feeding, boarding, grooming, and training.
- In 2018, the National Breed Club recipients were the Bearded Collie Club of America, English Cocker Spaniel Club of America, and Great Pyrenees Club of America.
- The 2019 club recipients were the Bull Terrier Club of America, National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc., and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA).
- The 2020 club recipients were the American Belgian Malinois Club/American Belgian Malinois Rescue Trust, American Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rescue Trust and Italian Greyhound Club of America
- The 2021 National Breed Club recipients are the American Tibetan Mastiff Association/Tibetan Mastiff Rescue, Inc., the Boykin Spaniel Club & Breeders Association and the Rhodesian Ridgeback Club of the United States/Rhodesian Ridgeback Rescue Inc.
- Westminster teams with its sponsor Purina, in support of Purina’s charities: Rally to Rescue, Pets for People, and One Hope Alliance, to help shelter dogs and breed rescue across the country. Over the years, Westminster has helped to raise millions of dollars for rescue programs and shelters to help dogs in need as well as donations to breed-specific organizations such as Greyhound Rescue.