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DENVER/April 19, 2023 – After nine years of inspiring runners and starring in selfies, Spencer, the official Boston Marathon dog, lost his battle to cancer in February. A week later, his best dog friend and niece Penny was gone, too. Now, Penny and Spencer’s owners have created a fundraiser to help raise awareness of and money for cancer research at Morris Animal Foundation.

Spencer gained worldwide fame during his years at the Boston Marathon with his owner, Rich Powers. Although he will no longer be on the sidelines holding the “Boston Strong” flag, his legacy lives on through Powers’ Spencer and Penny Fundraiser that recognizes both dogs’ battles with cancer.

The fundraiser supports Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which seeks to identify the environmental, lifestyle, genetic and nutritional risk factors for cancer and other major diseases in dogs. More than 3,000 golden retrievers are enrolled in the Study, which began in 2012 and has collected thousands of data points and samples to inform cancer research.

The Spencer and Penny Fundraiser is a continuation of the Powers family’s fundraising activities over the past three years which include selling bandanas, photos, calendars, mugs and more to support the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. Their goal is to reach $50,000 for the Study and honor beloved dogs that lost their lives to cancer, like Spencer and Penny.

To learn more about Morris Animal Foundation and how you can make a gift in honor of Spencer and Penny, visit the Spencer and Penny Fundraiser.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded in 1948 and headquartered in Denver, it is one of the largest nonprofit animal health research organizations in the world, funding more than $149 million in nearly 3,000 critical studies to date across a broad range of species. Learn more at

Media Contact: Annie Mehl