Seeking a cure for our companions: the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study
All of our buddies give us love and comfort, and we strive to give them the same in return. We do everything we can to keep them in good health, but that is not always possible. It is always so difficult when our pets become ill and leave us, and never more so than from the scourge of cancer.
The Morris Animal Foundation is trying to change that. Back in 2012, the Morris Animal Foundation and a team of researchers began an unprecedented and expansive study: to track the health of approximately 3,000 golden retrievers in real time, over the course of their entire lives. There were a few compelling factors in their decision to use golden retrievers, including their gentle disposition and large numbers nationally, but also the sad reality that up to 60% of golden retrievers are estimated to be impacted by some form of cancer during their lifetime.
Per the Morris Animal Foundation website: “The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine health study in the United States. The study’s purpose is to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs. Each year, with the help of veterinarians and dog owners, the Foundation collects health, environmental and behavioral data on 3,000+ enrolled golden retrievers.”
The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study comes with a high price tag. To date, the Foundation has raised $17.5 million of a $32 million goal to cover the costs of an estimated 14-year study. Almost $14 million of the $17 million has come from over 120 organizations, foundations, and companies, but the rest has been supported by nearly 5,000 individual donations averaging a generous $500 per donor.
You can learn more about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study on the Morris Animal Foundation website. If you are in a position to donate, all gifts made now through August 26 - which happens to be National Dog Day - are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar up to $50,000. All donations will go towards their laudable study.