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December 12, 2019 – Scientific breakthroughs in animal care don’t come easy. They take time and lots of trial and error, and each step along the way propels us forward so that we are able to make incredible differences in the lives of the animals. That’s why investing in animal health studies over years and even decades is so critical – something Dr. John Richardson understands personally.

Dr. Richardson, a retired general practice veterinarian, was one of the earliest Morris Animal Foundation Fellows. In the late 1950s, he tried to create an artificial kidney for dogs suffering from kidney failure. While the result wasn’t practical, he was grateful to advance the science. He knew his published thesis would keep future researchers from going down the same wrong path and eventually find other ways to help dogs with kidney disease.

“I’ve always appreciated Morris Animal Foundation for giving me the opportunity to try and eliminate a problem and create some research to prove what didn’t work,” said Dr. Richardson. “That’s what research is all about. You have to kiss a lot of frogs before you end up with a handsome prince.”

His efforts focused on the same disease that was at the heart of early nutrition studies by Dr. Mark Morris Sr. At the time, Dr. Richardson said, the only treatment for chronic kidney failure in dogs was k/d, the formula diet Dr. Morris created.

While there is still no cure for canine kidney disease, the groundwork laid by people like Dr. Richardson has led to better ways to deal with it. Morris Animal Foundation continues to fund studies to address the disease. Two recent examples of these investigations are:

• Evaluating a new treatment for dogs with kidney disease that could safely reduce the number of dogs that die from the disease.

Identifying kidney injury in dogs with chronic kidney disease that could also identify possible therapeutic targets for the disease.

Dr. Richardson and his wife, Shirley, have also supported the Foundation for more than 30 years and are members of its Lamplighter Society, as well. This family of committed donors have taken the special step of including the Foundation in their estate plans.

“I’m a guy who likes to give back. I wanted to give back to the profession and that’s why I’m a supporter of the Foundation,” said Dr. Richardson. “I hope donations like mine can help develop cures for diseases that have no cure and vaccines to prevent them.”

This holiday season, you can help advance science, too, with a gift to Morris Animal Foundation. Your support will help us fund groundbreaking research to find solutions to serious health threats animals face. And now through December 31, you can double your impact! Gifts will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $200,000, by generous members of our Board of Trustees.

Help us make the next breakthrough with a gift today.