~ News ~
Dear BHCA Members:
I’d like to take this opportunity to provide an update to BHCA members on Foundation activities.
The Foundation’s Mission Statement is as follows:
• To inform and educate the public about Basset Hounds as well as other breeds of dogs.
• To assist in furthering the understanding of the diseases, genetic defects, injuries and other ailments which afflict Basset Hounds and other breeds
• To promote and assist the development, publication and distribution of educational materials about the proper care, treatment, breeding, health,
development and training of Basset Hounds.
• To promote the rescue, rehabilitation and placement of displaced Basset Hounds.
Since the Foundation began operations in the fall of 2009, we have raised just over $41,000 (not including the $10,000 seed money) thanks to generous
donations made by the members like you as well as some outside donations. As it stands today, the Foundation balance is just over $35,000. We have
funded a few grants as well as sponsored glaucoma testing at the last two Nationals. These items amounted to $12,625.
What’s surprising however is that we have only received and funded one rescue grant. I’d like to remind the rescues that funds are available to those that
meet the Foundation grant guidelines and encourage them to apply if funds are needed.
In addition to Foundation activities, I’d like to provide an update on the AKC CHF Donor Advised Fund for Basset Hounds. We recently approved funding of
three grants under this program. One grant is specific to Basset Hounds, the Genetic Analysis of Familial Glaucoma. The other two grants deal with
lymphoma studies which we see all too often in bassets. After funding these three grants which totaled $25,000, the Basset Hound Donor Advised Fund
has a remaining balance of $50,597.
The BHCA Foundation wouldn’t exist without the generous donations of Basset lovers far and wide. As you receive your dues notices in a few months,
please remember there is the option to donate to both the Foundation and the AKC CHF. Any size contribution is welcome. Also consider making a
donation in memory or honor of a friend, human or canine. Many clubs are now making donations to the Foundation in lieu of sending flowers to
members for get well wishes. We also invite you to consider a bequest to the Foundation in your estate plan. For more information, please visit the
Foundation website at www.bassethoundfoundation.org or contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
January 15, 2015
We are pleased to report that there have been encouraging developments in the search for glaucoma genes. Dr. Markus Kuehn at
the University of Iowa who has been working hard on this problem for a number of years has been able to identify one gene that is
strongly associated with glaucoma in one population of Basset Hounds. These dogs shared a strongly linebred background so
while this news is very encouraging, it is clearly not the end of the story. The gene he found codes for a protein that is involved in
muscle contraction. Muscles are found in many places in the body, including the very tiny ciliary muscles which control the shape
and focusing ability of the lens and are contiguous with the iris. This fits with the idea that if these muscles are not functioning
properly (because of a mutation that affects a key protein), the small openings between iris and cornea that allow fluid drainage
(aqueous humor) may not be normal thus causing increased pressure in the anterior chamber of the eye.
Dr. Kuehn worked with a few courageous Basset breeders concerned about glaucoma appearing in the bloodlines and discovered
that if the gene he found was mutated in both copies (homozygous for the mutation) the dogs inevitably developed glaucoma. If the
gene was mutated in only one copy (heterozygous), some of the dogs STILL developed the disease but some did not. If dogs were
homozygous for the normal (non-mutated gene) they seemed not to be affected. BUT there is a catch: it is now almost certain that
there is more than one gene for glaucoma. We know this because the small colony of dogs that were previously at Iowa State
University does NOT have this mutation and yet some of the dogs previously in this colony (and who are in the pedigrees of the
current members) developed glaucoma. (See the article about these dogs elsewhere in this issue.) However, the gene that Dr.
Kuehn and his team have identified is VERY large so a different mutation could possibly have the same result – or other genes
involved in the disease could be in an entirely different place in the genome. We just don’t know.
In addition, there are risk factors that, when combined with genetics could precipitate the disease. What is now clear from the
evidence is that glaucoma is a polygenic disease that seems to be semi-dominant. A VERY pressing question now is: how
common is this particular mutated gene in the average Basset Hound population? It is imperative that we find out. YOU CAN
HELP. Dr. Kuehn needs DNA from at least 200 (that’s right, 200) dogs from other pedigrees. He is working on a way to do the
analysis from a simple cheek swab collection. All samples will be de-identified (not associated with the donor). Stay tuned for
details about how and where to send samples. Cheek swabs will also be collected at the 2014 Nationals. PLEASE HELP. We are
on the brink of a potential major advance in our understanding of the genetics of this disease. Let’s make this happen.
Have you donated to the BHCA Foundation today?
We have received several inquires recently from BHCA members about planned giving and bequests for the Foundation. What follows is brief
summary about planned giving. Please consult with your attorney or tax advisor as to how this affects you.
Would you like to help the Foundation but feel that you can’t make a significant gift today? The solution may be a charitable bequest. A bequest under
your will or revocable trust can complement your lifestyle and commitments today while supporting the Foundation tomorrow.
Donors choose a bequest because:
• They anticipate they will have assets available after their death that would benefit an organization such as the BHCAF.
• It is not payable until death, so it does not affect your assets or cash flow during your lifetime.
• It is revocable – you can change the provisions in your will or trust at any time
• It is private – your will is not filed or made public until your death.
By making a bequest, your giving options are increased. A bequest can deliver a specific amount to the BHCAF (“I bequeath the sum of $10,000”). Or it
can deliver a percentage of the balance remaining your estate after expenses have been paid (“I bequeath 10% of the residue of my estate”). If you
already have a gift amount in mind and you need income, you should consider a gift annuity. Income can range from 4%-6% along with a substantial tax
A bequest from a will or trust to BHCAF is fully deductible for federal estate tax purposes, and there is no limit on the deduction your estate can claim. In
addition, the gift is usually exempt form state inheritance taxes.
Here are some planning points to think about when you discuss this with your attorney or tax advisor:
• The more narrow you restrict the use of your bequest, the greater the risk that the program you want to benefit today won’t be as vital or as relevant
when we receive your gift in the future. Please talk with us as you are drafting your will if you want to restrict the use of your bequest.
• Similarly, please let us know in advance if you intend to bequeath real estate, a business interest or any other property other than cash.
• The remaining balance in your retirement or 401K plan makes a tax-wise gift to BHCAF, but don’t direct it to us through your will or trust. Use your
plan’s successor beneficiary form instead.
If you already have a will or trust in place, it is simple to add the Foundation without rewriting the entire document. Your attorney can prepare a simple
document called a codicil, which adds a new bequest to us.
Please contact Brian Pechtold or any Foundation Board member for more information. Thank you.