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December 28, 2017

During this year’s Season of Hope, we remember Dr. Mark Morris Sr.’s commitment to helping animals that indirectly suffered from the Great Depression. Dr. Morris discovered that a lack of table scraps during these difficult years led many dog owners to turn to inexpensive commercial foods in order to feed their pets. The low-quality feed was contributing to kidney disease and failure. 

To combat this health threat, Dr. Morris created a specially formulated food mix called Raritan Ration B, which owners could prepare at home. This formula diet drastically improved the health and lives of dogs suffering from kidney disease. 

The formula became popularized, in large part, because of the inspiration and encouragement from Morris Frank, who served as the ambassador for the Seeing Eye, an organization that worked to provide guide dogs to the blind and increase their independence. Frank came to Dr. Morris for help when his personal guide dog, Buddy, experienced kidney failure. The success that ensued after taking Dr. Morris’ formula spurred the introduction of a canning machine that was used to increase production and distribution of the food. 

In 1948, Dr. Morris and his business partner and wife, Louise, partnered with Hill Packaging Co. to grow the business and streamline the production and distribution of the formula, which was re-named k/d®.

Throughout the 20 years of this partnership, Hill Packaging paid a one-half cent royalty per tin of k/d®. With this money, Dr. Morris established what we now know as Morris Animal Foundation. 

This season, as we reflect on the Foundation’s humble beginnings, we admire how the k/d® formula is still improving the lives of dogs and cats (Hill's® Prescription Diet® k/d® Feline). Morris Animal Foundation continues to receive thanks for this specific formula, including a recent letter from a donor. The three-page letter praises Dr. Morris for developing the k/d® formula that saved her adored cat, Shadow. 

Morris Animal Foundation thanks everyone who continues to believe in and fight for the research that makes a positive impact on the health of animals everywhere. It is because of our supporters that the Foundation continues to exist. Together, we are saving the lives of animals everywhere. 

Shadow’s life may have been different had not Dr. Morris done early studies on the link between kidney disease and diet. That spirit of innovation continues today. Your gift during Morris Animal Foundation’s Season of Hope helps support studies that ensure cats like Shadow can enjoy many more years with their families. And now, through the end of the year, your gift will be matched up to $100,000. Thank you to all of our donors who are helping animals enjoy longer, healthier lives!