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Westminster Cares


The Westminster Kennel Club prides itself as one of the oldest, mission-based organizations in the world dedicated to dogs. The club’s continued educational, and promotional support of breed education, canine health, breed rescue, canine companionship, and dog sports participation reflect the club’s focus of caring. These activities help fulfill our core mission to celebrate the companionship of dogs while promoting responsible dog ownership, health, and breed preservation. As you read about the events, the programs, the donations, and the continued support from the Westminster Kennel Club, we hope you will agree that we all want to create a better world for all dogs.

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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.

    • The 2019 National Breed Club recipients were the Bull Terrier Club of America, National Brussels Griffon Rescue, Inc., and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever Club (USA).
    • The 2020 National Breed 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 were 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.
    • The 2022 National Breed Club recipients were the Airedale Terrier Club of America, Doberman Pinscher Club of America, and the German Wirehaired Pointer Club of America.
    • The 2023 National Breed Club recipients are the Havanese Club of America Rescue, Newfoundland Club of America Rescue, and the Lagotto Romagnolo Dog Rescue.
    • The 2024 National Breed Club recipients are the Bulldog Club of America Rescue Network, the American Chesapeake Club, and the Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen Club of America.
  • 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.


The Westminster Kennel Club proudly recognizes all American Kennel Club (AKC) Parent Clubs doing truly commendable and necessary work in their national dog rescue efforts. Parent Club rescue organizations, comprised of and driven by dedicated volunteers, continue to have remarkable results in assisting dogs in need.

In a continuing effort to assist Parent Club organizations, the club offers the Westminster Gives Back Awards of $5,000 each to three randomly selected AKC-recognized National Parent Clubs in support of their dog rescue activities. These awards help offset rescue-related expenses such as transportation, veterinary care, grooming, boarding, feeding, and training. In addition, these funds will assist the clubs in educating new owners about the joy of owning their specific breeds while finding new homes for purebred dogs.

Those clubs who have won previous awards in this program are not eligible to participate in this next round of award selections.

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