Morris Animal Foundation | June 3, 2016

Uncovering a Level of Knowledge About Dog Lifestyles Never Before Seen

Each year, 12 million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer. Many of these cancers have few treatments and no chance at a cure. In fact, cancer accounts for nearly 50 percent of all disease-related pet deaths every year, and is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 10, meaning many families are losing their beloved companion animals far too soon to this devastating disease.

At Morris Animal Foundation we fund research that helps us understand the causes of cancer as well as improve diagnostics, develop treatments, and find cures to help our companion animals have longer, healthier lives.

Since 1948, we’ve funded 300 studies that look at the genetics of cancer, innovative treatments such as immunotherapy, environmental factors, nutrition, virus-associated cancers, and much more. We currently have 40 active cancer studies, with $18 million committed in spending, investigating 10 types of canine cancer and four types of feline cancer. Each year, we do more.

Is there hope to finding cures for cancer? Yes. Morris Animal Foundation wouldn’t be committed to the fight if we weren’t extremely hopeful. Breakthroughs in science are happening all around us and we’re learning more about these diseases every year. Most likely, there won’t be one magic bullet. However, as we learn more about potential causes, we will be better equipped to prevent cancer altogether. And as we continue to learn more about these diseases, more effective therapies will emerge. There is certainly cause to be hopeful.

One project we are particularly excited about is our Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, a groundbreaking, multi-year observational study that is the largest veterinary study of its kind ever undertaken in the United States. While the name of the study calls out golden retrievers, it is applicable to all dog breeds, especially those with high cancer rates. More than 3,000 dogs are enrolled in this study, where lifestyle will be observed over the course of the dog’s entire lifetime. Genetics, nutrition, environment, behavior, exercise, etc. The list goes on. We are uncovering a level of knowledge about dog lifestyle never before seen and this information will help reveal potential causes for cancer in dogs. The applications of this study are enormous.

But cancer is only one of the areas we impact. We fund science and scientists around that world who are trying to improve the health and well-being of all companion animals, horses and wildlife.

Funding Breakthroughs in Science that Improve Animal Health and Well-being

As a nonprofit organization, Morris Animal Foundation relies on the generosity of our donors to fund our studies. The more successful we are at fundraising, and the more people we can connect to our mission, the more animals we will be able to save. For example, right now there are emerging infectious diseases that are threatening many animal populations living on the edge of extinction or heading that direction, including Galapagos tortoises, koalas, sea turtles, Hawaiian monk seals and many others. Even if we can preserve habitat, even if we can prevent poaching, animal populations worldwide are constantly facing new disease threats and that is where we make a critical difference.

We are one of the few organizations worldwide that focuses solely on animal health, and you can help by:

  1. Make a donation right now.
  2. We are in the midst of our Unite to Fight Pet Cancer campaign, running through the end of June. If you make a donation by June 30, your gift will be matched dollar for dollar by the Blue Buffalo Foundation, up to $50,000.
  3. Provide us with sustainable, unrestricted funds by supporting Morris Animal Foundation through employee giving. Employers can start an employee-giving program by utilizing America’s Charities’ online giving technology and corporate giving solutions that are designed to facilitate workplace giving campaigns and other company cause initiatives. 

To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and their work, visit

America’s Charities mobilizes the workforce to affect social change. We provide a wide range of fundraising solutions to help nonprofits expand their reach and diversify their revenue streams, and help employers maximize community impact and employee engagement through seamless integration of workplace giving, volunteering, social responsibility, and other philanthropic initiatives. Our 35+ years of experience combined with an accountable and transparent process has resulted in raising more than $650 million of sustainable funds for more than 10,000 nonprofits addressing a range of causes including education, human rights, hunger, poverty, research, animals, veterans, disaster relief and health services. Click here to contact us and learn how we can help your organization achieve its philanthropic goals.

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