Take the Lead

a 501(c)3 Corporation, assisting the AKC dog show community since 1993

With your help, we can make a difference in people’s lives.

Since 1993, over $6.4 mil Dollars Distributed  |  More than 2300 TTL Members  |  During Covid-19 Assisted in over $400k in Insurance Premiums


We welcome you to visit our booth at Westminster where there will be raffles, memberships and more! Monday-Wednesday,
June 20th -22nd, 2022

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About Take the Lead

Who We Are

Take the Lead was founded in 1993 as a not-for-profit foundation under Section 501 (c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code dedicated to provide direct services, support and care for all qualified participants in the sport of dogs who suffer from the devastating realities of life-threatening or terminal illnesses, and to provide temporary emergency assistance to those affected by civil disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes and the like. 

What We Do

Take The Lead provides direct services, support and care for people in the sport of purebred dogs who suffer the devastation of life-threatening or terminal illness. Perhaps no one can describe who we are and what we do better than someone we have helped along the way. Our mission also includes the ability to provide temporary emergency assistance to those affected by civil disasters such as fires, floods, earthquakes and the like.  This is accomplished through a separate and expedited application.

Getting Involved

We welcome your support. Take The Lead relies upon membership, donations and fundraising events held around the country.

There are many ways that you can help: through your donations, by becoming a member and being a participant in fundraising events.

Take the Lead Logo 2021

Join us in making a difference within our community by becoming a Take the Lead member.

Our History


We originally began simply to lend a level of support to those impacted by the AIDS epidemic.

September 1993

The First benefit cocktail party was held during the Westchester weekend in September of 1993 where we raised approximately $35,000.


Our first applications for assistance were received and we immediately began making distributions paying medical insurance premiums, funeral expenses as well as other non-medical bills.


Established a permanent restricted fund and determined that up to one half of each year’s net income would be placed in it.


A few words from those we have impacted

Things were really bleak. The day before, the doctor had told me that my husband had only three weeks to live. The cancer had spread and we were out of options, I
was just reading the letter from the mortgage company threatening eviction this was 1995 and Take the Lead was still pretty new. I filled out the paperwork and faxed it off. The next day, late morning, I got a call from the office, the mortgage payment was up to date.I couldn't believe it. In 24 hours, I had been rescued. At a time when the world was falling down around us, Take the Lead stepped in and made a terrible time less painful. It was done anonymously. No one would have ever known...if I hadn't said anything. I've never kept it a secret. This was certainly one of the kindest that has ever happened to me Thank you, again, Take the Lead. You are the best.
In 2010 I was diagnosed the Ovarian cancer, stage 3. As if dealing with that kind of life threatening diagnosis and facing major surgery and subsequent treatment wasn't scary enough, I am self-employed with no disability benefits, so I knew I not be able to pay my rent.....Several friends recommended that I contact Take the Lead. I did just that, and following a short approval process, with the help of Take the Lead, I no longer had to worry or be concerned about my living expenses during treatment.....I was able to focus all of my attention on my recovery. I really don't know how I could have gotten through it all without this wonderful organization and the peace of mind they gave me. Today I am in remission and back to training and competing with my dogs.
On November 2012 I was hospitalized with a life threatening blood clot that caused me to bleed out and lose half of the blood in my body. Fifty-two blood transfusions later I am here by the grace of God. After spending two months in the hospital I was left with half a million dollars in medical bills, and a way to figure out how to begin my recovery process. Not able to walk or care for myself upon being released from the hospital all I could think about was how I was going to make it. My mother contacted them (Take the Lead) and filled out the application process for me. Within a week they had an approval and were able to pay my bills for 4 months. This was such a relief as it gave me time to concentrate on my health without worrying about the bills piling up. From the bottom of my heart my gratitude toward this wonderful organization will forever be deeply rooted.
I needed to focus on fighting cancer and there was only one way to do that and Take the Lead provided the way......Thank you Take the Lead for fighting with me. I could never have done it without you.


Recognition within the Community

Apply for Assistance

We provide direct services, support and care for those in the purebred dog community who were facing the devastating challenges of a life-threatening or terminal illness.  In addition, we are now able to provide assistance in cases of civil disasters.