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Decode your pup's ancestry - and help the ACSPCA

The Allen County SPCA is selling DNA testing kits for dogs. The DNA test allows owners to find out the breeds that make up their dog's heritage. It's also a fundraiser for the SPCA.
The Allen County SPCA is selling DNA testing kits for dogs. The DNA test allows owners to find out the breeds that make up their dog's heritage. It's also a fundraiser for the SPCA.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
Tuesday, November 24, 2009 08:50 am
Have you ever wondered where your canine got his spots, extra-long legs, bushy tail and hyper temperament? Did you ever think maybe the breeder wasn't quite truthful about your pup's parents?Here's your chance to find out the truth: DNA My Dog is a year-old company that aims to answer these questions. It's teaming up with the Allen County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to offer an opportunity to discern Fido's family roots - and help raise money for the local animal rights group.

For a $10 donation to the ACSPCA, you will get a kit to test your dog's DNA. It contains an envelope and two long swabs. Simply run the swabs on the inside of the dog's inner cheeks, one swab per cheek, let the swabs air-dry, place them in the envelope - along with a $49.95 lab fee and $9 for postage and handling - and mail it off.

The company will process the DNA test and return the results in about two weeks. The information will break down your dog's breeds by percentage, from highest to lowest.

“DNA My Dog is an offshoot of Viaguard, the lab (that) sells and evaluates the DNA testing kits.

The new effort is focused on working with Canine Rescue organizations to help them raise much-needed funds.

Groups such as the ACSPCA can raise significant funds through kit sales, while delighted adopters and supporters can have their dogs tested and also donate at the same time,” said Mindy Tenebaum, of DNA my Dog.

Jill Borkenstein, ACSPCA director, first ran across DNA My Dog at a National Humane Society Expo and thought it would be a great fundraising tool.

The program does seem to be making a difference: The Toronto-based company announced in October it helped raise $37,000 through its North America Shelter Program, according to Wire Service Canada.

Beyond the fun of knowing your dog's ancestry, Borkenstein said, “It's a wonderful education tool. It's a good thing to know if you want to find any inherited medical conditions or a temperament problem.”

She pointed to the debilitating effects of hip dysplasia, more common in larger breeds like German Shepherds, Labradors, Rottweilers and Saint Bernards.

Behavioral problems can also be more easily understood if you know your dog's lineage.

If your canine is so well-blended you have no clue who the parents were, it can be a tool in selecting the proper training approach for the dog.

“It also makes a great Christmas gift for the dog lover in your life,” said Borkenstein with a laugh.

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