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DENVER/February 1, 2019 – Morris Animal Foundation, the preeminent nonprofit leader in advancing animal health, has received a $1 million legacy gift from the William and Ann Cullen Trust. This is one of the largest single gifts in the Foundation’s 70-year history. The legacy gift was established in honor of Ann Cullen’s beloved dog Pucci, a shihpoo, who preceded her in death. Ann Cullen passed away in July 2018.

Ann Cullen was a dear friend of the actress Betty White, who is a longtime Morris Animal Foundation supporter, including former President of the Board and Trustee Emeriti. Ann Cullen was the widow of Bill Cullen, nicknamed the “Dean of Game Show Hosts,” who hosted more than 20 game shows from the 1950s to the 1980s. White appeared as a guest star on many of those shows. According to one of Ann Cullen’s obituaries, White was even known as a notorious card shark at Ann Cullen’s monthly poker games.

“We are incredibly grateful to the Cullen family for leaving us this legacy gift,” said Tiffany Grunert, President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “The gift not only honors Ann’s dog Pucci, it also will better the lives of countless dogs and other species by funding the work of our dedicated scientists.”

The generous gift from the William and Ann Cullen Trust will support scientific health studies benefiting animals around the world. Morris Animal Foundation is committed to funding only the best scientific research, and more than 95 percent of all donations directly support its programs. At any given time, the Foundation is supporting more than 200 active studies in health research from cancer and heart disease, to arthritis and obesity.

Since its founding in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation has invested more than $126 million in over 2,670 studies that have improved the health and quality of life for dogs, cats, horses and wildlife around the world. The Foundation is known for funding research that has led to:

  • Development of a vaccine for parvovirus, a leading killer of young dogs
  • Development of a vaccine for feline leukemia virus, a deadly disease in cats
  • Penn HIP test for hip dysplasia in dogs
  • Potomac horse fever breakthrough
  • Mountain gorilla veterinary project that saved the lives of endangered gorillas
  • Advancement of a melanoma vaccine for horses

Morris Animal Foundation also leads the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, the largest study of its kind in veterinary medicine in the United States. The study, now in its seventh year, seeks to discover the environmental, nutrition, genetic and lifestyle risk factors for cancer and other major diseases in dogs.

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