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American Water Spaniel Club, Inc.

AKC Member and Parent Club

Please direct inquiries and referrals to American Water Spaniel Rescue, Inc.

New Rescue Relationship Established

After a disheartening experience with a rescue dog, the members of the AWSC Rescue Committee resigned. The Board wants to thank them for their service. As a result of these resignations, the Board decided that this was the appropriate time to examine our rescue program and explore alternatives.

The AWSC has come to agreement with America Water Spaniel Rescue, Inc. to handle rescue dogs. There will be a trial period for the remainder of 2009 to determine whether this relationship between the two organizations is working. Contrary to what has been suggested in the past, the AKC does not require breed parent clubs to have their own rescue, but simply to support a rescue. AWSC support of AWSRI would fulfill this requirement. Any financial liability to the AWSC due to rescue dogs has been eliminated – that responsibility rests with AWSRI.
AWSC will provide the following:

  • Referral to AWSRI when rescue questions/needs arise.

  • Free space in The Review.

  • Free space at AWSC Nationals for fundraising.

  • Partnership at Nationals for fundraising (possible auction or raffle.)

  • Free web space.

AWSRI would request funds from AWSC for specific cases. This would allow AWSC to distribute money donated to the club for rescue purposes. Distribution would be determined by the AWSC board. AWSC will provide a liaison to the AWSRI to facilitate communication between the two organizations.
AWSRI will provide the following:

  • Complete rescue coverage including but not limited to: picking up dogs in need of rescue, transporting or arranging transport for dogs, finding foster homes, evaluating dogs, finding permanent homes and performing other duties required of a rescue organization.

  • Quarterly reporting of AWSRI activities to the AWSC.

  • AWSRI will provide a liaison to the AWSC to facilitate communication between the two organizations.

Background information from AWSRI by Holly Lewis:

Our mission statement: American Water Spaniel Rescue, Inc. was created to promote the well being of the American Water Spaniel through the use of education, prevention, information and other purposes. We are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. While we have no other affiliations, we do work in partnership with other rescue groups. Our focus is always DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE DOG. This is our focus without regard to clubs, groups, politics, likes, dislikes, disagreements, etc. Decisions are always made based upon what is best for the dog!
The AWSRI Board includes a breeder, an active certified professional dog trainer, and a state certified veterinary technician. AWSRI also has a veterinary consultant familiar with AWS (Elizabeth Pannill, DVM).
Extensive breed experience - One board member is a charter member of AWSC and has been a member in good standing since its inception, as well as a member of AWSFA. Other board members are also members in good standing of the AWSC.
Over 26 years combined rescue experience. Members have taken rescue related continuing education courses. (i.e. temperament evaluation, foster & adoptive home evaluations, fund raising, dog training). Extensive AWS network, as well as other pure-bred and mixed breed networks. Because of strong partnerships with other breeds and breed rescues (including Boykin Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels, and Golden Retrievers), we are able to draw upon resources beyond our own organization, including fostering, transport, evaluations, home visits and more.
AWSRI is a 501c3 non-profit organization, which means all donations are 100% taxdeductible. Without this non-profit designation, it is illegal to accept donations as a taxdeductible charitable organization, which is the reason most rescues are separate from breed clubs or associations. The group has a strong fundraising history in many capacities with plans to expand revenue in the future.

For more information contact AWSRI at 7522 N Oketo Ave, Chicago, IL 60629-4431; call 312-339-4177; e-mail
Visit the AWSRI website at