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DENVER/July 5, 2018 – Parker, Colorado resident Paula Davis, and her dog, Jaxon, received national attention in The Costco Connection magazine, for their role in Morris Animal Foundation’s groundbreaking Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. The story in the July 2018 edition, called “A pet’s heart,” highlighted eight, brief narratives of ways Costco members’ pets affected, or even saved, the lives of their owners or others. 

The $32 million Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the most extensive investigation ever undertaken in veterinary medicine, gathering information on more than 3,000 golden retrievers from across the country, throughout their lives, to identify the nutritional, environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors for cancer and other diseases in dogs.

Davis’s last four golden retrievers all died from cancer. When she saw a pamphlet about the study, she knew she wanted to sign up Jaxon, who is now 4 years old. All dogs in the study are identified as “Hero Dogs.” When Davis saw an advertisement in a previous issue of The Costco Connection asking for stories about heroic pets, she knew it was a perfect fit.

“I sent them an email and the next thing I knew, I got a reply asking to schedule a photoshoot,” Davis said. “I just want to get the word out about the study, let more people know about what we’re doing, and maybe they’ll want to donate.”



All study participants complete online questionnaires annually about their dog’s diet and environment. They also work with their veterinarians, who complete an annual physical examination on the dog, and collect biological samples, including blood, urine and hair. The study is now in its sixth year and what researchers learn may not only impact canine health, but other species too, including humans.

“I want all our pets to live longer, healthier lives, but I’m also fascinated by the crossover in medicine between the animal studies and the human studies,” Davis said. “The potential that this study could benefit humans with cancer is pretty cool.”

The Costco Connection is Costco Wholesale Corporation’s monthly member magazine. It boasts a circulation of nearly 13 million, with 12,710,000 copies mailed to its members, and an additional 257,000 copies made available for distribution in its stores.

“This is fantastic exposure for this incredible study and we are so grateful,” said Tiffany Grunert, Morris Animal Foundation’s Acting President and CEO. “It means so much to us that our participants help educate the public about this important study that will undoubtedly lead to a brighter, healthier future for all our canine companions.”   

Morris Animal Foundation, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is the largest nonprofit foundation in the world dedicated to funding studies to improve and protect the health of companion animals and wildlife. During the last 70 years, the Foundation has invested over $118 million toward more than 2,600 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments and preventions to benefit animals worldwide.

About Morris Animal Foundation
Morris Animal Foundation’s mission is to bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals. Founded by a veterinarian in 1948, we fund and conduct critical health studies for the benefit of all animals. Learn more at