Morris pledges $4 million for animal health studies in '06

Published on December 15, 2005
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In November, Morris Animal Foundation announced it was committing $4 million to animal health research in 2006.

Health studies for dogs will receive 38 percent of the funding, followed by wildlife and the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (37 percent), horses (14 percent), cats (10 percent), and llamas/alpacas (two percent).

Cancer is the number one natural cause of death in dogs, and, according to a Morris Animal Foundation market research study, the leading health concern among pet owners. Developing new diagnostic techniques and better treatments for cancer is one of the foundation's top priorities.

The Englewood, Colo.-based nonprofit continues its commitment to feline health and will support cat studies in the areas of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, infectious disease, urinary disease, and gastrointestinal problems.

Morris will support 12 new and continuing veterinary studies for horses. Foundation-funded scientists at universities throughout the United States will explore critical equine health issues including foal pneumonia, colic, endotoxemia, genetics, neurologic disorders, and pain management.

Two genetics studies to benefit llamas/alpacas are also being funded. One study will investigate wild camelid populations in South America that are often inbred. The other study will seek to improve the accuracy of the alpaca genome map and develop an identity/parentage test for camelids.

Morris is committing nearly $1.5 million to wildlife health studies in 2006. A little more than $400,000 will go toward the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project in east central Africa, which provides critical veterinary care to the endangered mountain gorillas.

In addition, funding will go toward 40 new and continuing wildlife studies focused on wild cats, wolves, giraffes, elephants, pandas, birds, marine mammals, marsupials, reptiles, fish, hoofstock, primates, and rhinoceros. Studies address such issues as population management, infectious diseases, disease transmission between species, and reproductive problems.

Detailed information on studies funded by the Foundation can be found here.