Description of the Champion for Health Award (from the OFA):
This award refers to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) sponsored annual “Champion for Health” award. The award will consist of an engraved silver medallion awarded to the owner, and a $100 donation to the AKC Canine Health Foundation (AKCCHF) in the name of the honored dog. It is intended that the award be announced and given at the club’s annual awards banquet.” In addition, photographs of dogs winning this award will be displayed on a “Champions for Health” webpage on the WSSCA website and also the OFA website.
I) The WSSCA Health Committee shall be in charge of collecting and submitting applications for the Champion for Health Award to the OFA
II) Eligibility Requirements
1) All WSS applicants must have a CHIC number. WSS that do not have a CHIC number on the date(s) of significant accomplishments are still eligible if they have a CHIC number on the date that the application is submitted for consideration.
2) The owner of the WSS must be a member in good standing with the WSSCA for the award year.
3) Automatic eligibility:
a) The Champion for Health winner of the Top 10 competition is automatically eligible for the given year of the win.
b) A dog that has earned an extraordinary performance AKC title or win in obedience, agility or field is automatically eligible in the year that the title was earned. Owners are required to notify the WSSCA President of such title or win in order to meet this automatic eligibility requirement. Title/win requirements are:
- Obedience: OTCH or High-In-Trial at an all-breed or American Spaniel Club obedience trail
- Agility: MACH
- Field: MH (Master Hunter)
- Tracking: CT (Champion Tracker)
c) The Best-of-Breed winner at the National Specialty is automatically eligible for the year following the win. In the event the BOB winner does not have a CHIC number, the Best-of-Opposite Sex winner is automatically eligible.
d) The Health Committee shall prepare an application for all automatically eligible dogs using a photograph and other supporting information from the owner.
e) The calendar year for award eligibility shall be October 1 to September 30.
4) Regular Eligibility
a) Owner(s) of a dog that has had significant achievements in the breed ring, performance ring, in the field, or as producers may submit a completed application as described below to the Health Committee for this award. Achievements prior to the year of application are allowable. A CHIC number is required for regular eligibility.
III) Completed applications and selection process for submission to OFA.
1) A completed application for submission to the OFA shall include a brief write-up of the WSS’s accomplishments, a record of its health certifications, the dog’s CHIC number and a suitable photograph. Owners of automatically eligible dogs shall assist the Health Committee with assembling this application.
2) Applications must be completed and submitted by the Health Committee to the OFA no later than February 1st in order to allow sufficient time for OFA consideration before the National Specialty.
3) The Health Committee shall nominate from one to three dogs each year for the annual award, and present their nominations to the OFA for final selection.
4) In the event that, between automatic and regular applications, there are more than three nominees for this award in a given year, the Health Committee shall submit these applications to the WSSCA Board of Directors who will select the top three nominations by a plurality vote. The final selections should include, if possible, a balanced slate of applications recognizing accomplishments in multiple venues such as the breed ring, performance ring, in the field, or as producers.
IV) Rules regarding ineligibility
1) Any WSS without a CHIC number is ineligible. If a dog obtains a CHIC number in a later year after earning a significant accomplishment, this dog shall become eligible under the “regular eligibility” rule.
2) A WSS shall only be eligible for one “Champion for Health” award.
V) Awards from the OFA
Awards made by the OFA such as the medallion, donation to the AKC-CHF, OFA webpage features, etc. are at the discretion of the OFA and may be changed without notice.
VI) Information regarding the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals CHIC program
The CHIC database is a centralized pool of health information on individual animals from multiple sources. CHIC is maintained to assist breeders in making more informed breeding choices, and for scientists in conducting research. The requirements for a CHIC number have been tailored to meet the needs for WSS based on inherited diseases that are of the greatest concern and for which some screening test is available. Information on the requirements are available from the OFA. These unique requirements have been established through input from the WSSCA prior to the breed's entry into the CHIC program.
Each dog must be permanently identified in order to have test results included in CHIC. Permanent identification may be in the form of microchip or tattoo. A CHIC number is issued when test results are entered into the database satisfying each breed specific requirement, and when the owner of the dog has opted to release the results into the public domain. The CHIC number itself does not imply normal test results, only that all the required breed specific tests were performed and the results made publicly available.
As health priorities within WSS change, or as new screening tests become available, the specific requirements for WSS can be modified to reflect the current environment. If the breed specific requirements are modified, existing CHIC numbers are not revoked since the CHIC number is issued to a dog that completed all required tests at a given point in time.