Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

Australian Shepherd Health & Genetics Institute

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All Good Things…

To everyone out there in Aussieland who has supported ASHGI or utilized our information and programs:

I have been gathering information on genetic traits in our beloved Aussies since the 1980s.  Over the years I’ve answered people’s questions, published numerous articles offering information and advice, co-authored a couple peer-reviewed scientific articles (on CEA and coat color) and amassed many digital files and banker boxes of pedigree and trait data.  Initially I did this largely on my own. 

In 2002, two friends, George Johnson and Pete Adolphson, suggested that we set up a non-profit to provide information and education as well as raise funds for research on breed health issues.  In 2002 the IRS certified ASHGI as a non-profit.  George, Pete, and I were ASHGI’s first Board of Directors.

ASHGI soon developed into my full-time volunteer job.  We have done a lot since then – set up a website, developed programs, published articles, and provided seminars for clubs.  We amassed piles of data, including a pedigree database that contains more than 110,000 dogs.  Thanks to our generous supporters we have been able to give almost a quarter million dollars to research on epilepsy, cancer, and other inherited health issues. 

Our efforts have been honored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation.   In 2001 ASCA presented me with one of the first Ernest Hartnagle Memorial Icon Awards – an honor I must share with the faithful ASHGI board members and volunteers who have assisted me over the years.  I also thank each and every one of you out there in Aussieland – here in the US and around the world – who have supported ASHGI in one way or another.

I tried over the years to recruit trustworthy, discrete, and dedicated volunteers to take on some of the operations so the work could continue even if something happened to me.  But what I do for ASHGI is real (and unpaid) labor, often with confidential data.  We have rules, deadlines, and various state and federal requirements which must be met.  Most volunteers understandably want something they can do in their own time, when it won’t interfere with the jobs, family, dog events, etc. that dominate all our lives.   

Sadly, nothing on Earth lasts forever.  My advancing years and my husband’s health issues have made it clear that the time has come when I must step down and ASHGI must be dissolved.   Running the organization and serving the Aussie community has been my passion for many years – a full time volunteer gig I have cherished.  Unfortunately, I must let it go.

This will not happen overnight.  Our board has developed a timeline for winding down our operations over the next year or so (see below.)  Some dates may be extended, depending on workload, but they will not occur before the stated dates.  We will announce closings on our Facebook page ( about a week ahead.

We are also exploring ways to make pedigree and open health data available through downloads to those who might want a copy, most likely in pdf format. 

Thank you to the individuals, Aussie clubs and kennel clubs that we have worked with over the years.  Though ASHGI must close, I will remain available to answer your questions about Aussie health issues and breed genetics. 

ASHGI Shut-Down Timeline:

Closing May 11 2023

       Pedigree  Service
          Subscription renewal option shutdown
          New Pedigree Service subscription cut-off.
          Existing subscriptions will be honored until their expiration date.

       Pedigree Analysis Program
           Application form and info removed from website.
           As soon as possible after this date we will add a downloadable pdf
           document on the website that explains the analysis process and an
           MS Excel file with a score calculator for any who might wish to use it.

        Clinics link and clinic info page removed.

June 1  2023

       The following forms will be removed from the website:
             Pedigree submission form
             Error form     
             Title listing form
             Ownership claim form

January 1  2024

       Data files made available for download on website

              ASHGI Pedigree Database
               Health and Coat Color genetic data files (open listings only)

May 1 2024

     We are looking into ways to keep informational articles – material currently in
     the “Learn” section of the website ( – available for an
      as-yet undetermined period of time after other ASHGI operations have shut
      down.  We will make an announcement if we find a way to do this.