The Irish Wolfhound Association of the Carolinas (IWAC) was initially organized in 1992 by a group of long time Irish Wolfhound owners and breeders. It was eventually incorporated as a not-for-profit 501(c)7 in 2009. Originally named The Irish Wolfhound Association of the Mid-South, we received accreditation by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in April, 2022. This required a change in name to more accurately reflect the region where the majority of our members reside.
The objectives of our organization are:
Encourage and sponsor education in the health and welfare of the Irish Wolfhound.
Promotes responsible, quality breeding in unison with the standards of the Irish Wolfhound Club of America (IWCA) and the American Kennel Club (AKC).
Provides rescue and placement for Irish Wolfhounds in our region of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and our neighboring states of Florida and Georgia.
Team photo of the Winston-Salem Wolfhounds Gaelic Football Club at their first regional Wolfhound Cup, July 25, 2015. Photo courtesy of Rebecca O'Donovan.
Mooresville, North Carolina
As responsible owners, we continually educate ourselves and the public about the breed. Our largest public educational outreaches are regional St. Patrick's Day Parades, Celtic heritage festivals, sporting events, and the AKC's Flagship Responsible Dog Ownership Day held annually in Raleigh, NC. We provide opportunities to learn about the breed, and visit with hounds and their owners. We provide additional educational opportunities for owners at our club gatherings throughout the year. In the past this has included keynote speakers specializing in behavior and health. Please see our Events page for more information.
We support the Irish Wolfhound Foundation (IWF) and the Irish Wolfhound Club of America (IWCA) in health initiatives, studies and testing. We recommend all breeders adhere to IWCA's Standard of Behavior for Breeders in all actions concerning breeding, selling, exhibiting, owning and protecting the breed. We work to stay current on medical concerns impacting the breed, and gold standard treatment and therapies affecting the breed. We are here to answer any questions you may have, and to make regional recommendations for Veterinarians experienced treating Irish Wolfhounds.
IWAC attempts to offer two heart screening days annually - one with NC State College of Veterinary Medicine in North Carolina, and the other with Dr. Bill Tyrell in Virginia.
"Welfare" is the well-being of the Irish Wolfhound. The Five Freedoms of animal welfare are:
Freedom from thirst and hunger
Freedom from discomfort
Freedom from pain, injury, and disease
Freedom to express most normal behavior
Freedom from fear and distress
In addition, Dr. John Webster
defines welfare by advocating three positive conditions: Living a natural life, being fit and healthy, and being happy. We are committed to these freedoms and conditions for the breed.
Circumstances change in life and because of their size, the Irish Wolfhound requires
special consideration when it comes to housing, transportation, health, geriatric needs for an aging hound, and finances. We understand sometimes this means having to give up a beloved pet, even if its hard breaking for the family. As "Guardians of the Breed" IWAMS Rescue confidentially assists owners who may no longer be able to care for their Irish Wolfhound(s) as well as those who want to adopt a rescue. Please see our rescue page for more information on how we can help.