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DENVER/August 2 - The Petco Foundation and the Blue Buffalo Foundation have partnered to sponsor a $750,000 grant to Morris Animal Foundation to help fund the Foundation’s research initiative in osteosarcoma and six additional studies focusing on pet cancer.

“Morris Animal Foundation continues to significantly invest in pet cancer research and we are deeply appreciative of the Petco Foundation and the Blue Buffalo Foundation for their continued support of this important work,” said John Reddington, DVM, PhD, President and CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “Each year, an estimated 6 million dogs and nearly 6 million cats are diagnosed with cancer. The need for sustained research to develop new diagnostics, treatments and cures is critical. With help from our partners, we are gaining on cancer every day.”

Of the grant, $500,000 will go toward Morris Animal Foundation’s Osteosarcoma Initiative. Osteosarcoma is an aggressive tumor that spreads rapidly throughout the body and is the most common primary bone tumor affecting dogs. Almost all dogs diagnosed with osteosarcoma eventually are lost to metastatic disease, making focused research in this area crucial to developing new and effective treatments.

The balance of the grant will go toward six additional studies:

  1. Predicting chemotherapy drug response in dogs with bone cancer
  2. Determining the prognostic value of identifying genetic mutations in dogs with lymphoma
  3. Measuring chemotherapy drug resistance in dogs with T-cell lymphoma
  4. Targeting a genetic mutation associated with canine bladder cancer
  5. Improving the feline genome assembly (the genome sequence produced after chromosomes have been fragmented, those fragments have been sequenced, and the resulting sequences have been put back together)
  6. Using new imaging technology to assess surgical margins following cancer surgery in cats

“The Petco Foundation, since its founding in 1999, has always focused on how we can create a better world for animals,” said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “Cancer is a major disease of dogs and cats that shortens their lives, and breaks their families’ hearts, so we are very proud to be able to assist in funding research to change that outcome.”

The Blue Buffalo Foundation was established in 2003 with a specific focus on cancer research.

“This grant is part of our Foundation’s ongoing support for research on the causes, treatments and prevention of cancer in dogs and cats,” said David Petrie, President of the Blue Buffalo Foundation. “So many of us have lost beloved pets to this deadly disease and we want to make a difference in the fight against pet cancer. We are pleased to partner with Morris Animal Foundation to fund innovative studies that will help pets live longer, healthier lives.”

About Morris Animal Foundation

Morris Animal Foundation is a global leader in funding scientific studies that advance the health of companion animals, horses and wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the Foundation has invested more than $100 million toward 2,500 studies that have led to significant breakthroughs in diagnostics, treatments, preventions and cures to benefit animals worldwide. Learn more at Morris Animal Foundation.

About the Blue Buffalo Foundation

The Blue Buffalo Foundation (“Foundation”) was established in 2003 by the founders of Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. (“Blue Buffalo”) a manufacturer of natural dog and cat foods under the BLUE™ brand names. Helping to find a cure for pet cancer is a top priority for Blue Buffalo because its founders have had very personal experience with this disease. “Our dog Blue, a large breed Airedale and a great pal, had three bouts with cancer,” said Bill Bishop, Blue Buffalo’s founder. “After Blue’s battles, we wanted to do something meaningful to help find a cure for this devastating disease. So one of the first things we did after starting our pet food company was to establish the Foundation to raise money for pet cancer research, and raise awareness among pet parents of the early warning signs of this disease.” www.PetCancerAwareness.org.

About the Petco Foundation

At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life.  Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $167 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.