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DENVER/July 26, 2023 — The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, one of the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine health studies in the United States, has reached a milestone with accrual of 500 cumulative diagnoses of four major cancers in dogs. This milestone, achieved 11 years after the Study’s inception, highlights Morris Animal Foundation’s commitment to advancing animal health research and finding answers to canine cancer. 

“We have recorded over 500 cases of hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma, high-grade mast cell tumor and osteosarcoma in this group of golden retrievers. This is a sobering and significant finding for the Study,” said Kathy Tietje, Chief Program Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “We are grateful to the dogs and their owners who contributed, and continue to contribute data, specimens, time and resources to the Study.” 

Launched in 2012, the primary goal of the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs. One major finding from the Study revealed a higher-than-expected prevalence of hemangiosarcoma, a deadly form of canine cancer, in the Study dogs. In response to this finding, the Foundation recently launched its multiyear, multimillion-dollar Hemangiosarcoma Initiative, which dedicates much-needed funding, people and resources to advance the prevention, detection and treatment of, and potentially cures for, this devastating cancer in dogs.  

Though the initial cohort of 3,044 dogs has now decreased to 1,653, the Foundation continues to follow all Study dog participants for the rest of their lives, regardless of disease or diagnoses. This large collection of prospective data and samples is available to researchers by request and at no charge, to help spur more studies seeking to address canine cancer and other health challenges in dogs. 

For additional information about the Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, email [email protected] or call 855-447-3647. 

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 nearly $160 million in more than  3,000 critical studies across a broad range of species. Learn more at  

Media Contact: Annie Mehl