Fund Established to Address Leading Cause of Death in Young Pets Morris Animal Foundation Announces R.K. Anderson Animal Behavior Research Endowment

Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) has announced a new endowment fund dealing with the #1 cause of death in dogs and cats under the age of three. Each year millions of pets are relinquished to shelters because of preventable, behavior-related problems. MAF, the world-wide leader in funding research to protect, treat, and cure companion animals and wildlife has established the R. K. Anderson Animal Behavior Research Endowment Fund. The fund is intended to advance the science and knowledge of behavior in companion animals so that the quality and duration of their lives can be increased.

In addition, the fund honors the lifetime dedication of Dr. R.K. Anderson to the development of the fields of animal behavior, human animal bond, veterinary epidemiology and preventive medicine.Dr. Anderson, 85, reflects, “Unwanted behavior is the number one reason for fracture of the human animal bond and our relationships with our pets, resulting in millions of dogs and cats losing their homes each year. Sadly, many are euthanized. We can’t fix it without data. And we need to do the research to supply the data.”

According to the Center for Disease Control, unwanted aggressive behavior in dogs is also a leading cause of injuries to people, particularly young children. This endowment will fund research targeting prevention and improvement of pet behavior problems, improving safety and the quality of life for humans as well.

Dr. Anderson has long been part of the MAF family as a colleague of MAF’s founder, Dr. Mark Morris Sr., and as a professor and mentor of Dr. Patricia Olson, MAF’s current president and CEO. “Thanks to Dr. Anderson, we believe this research will reduce the tragedy of millions of dogs and cats who are euthanized every year because of unwanted behavior, says Dr. Olson.”

Contributing the initial $100,000 to this endowment, Dr. Anderson encourages friends of companion animals to help the endowment reach its $5 million goal. Contributions support research to increase knowledge of the interactions of genetics, physiology, environment, and people – and how these factors affect the behavior of companion animals and human-animal relationships.

“Please join us in our goal of funding this endowment,” says Dr. Anderson. “This will help ensure the success of this research. Research to improve behavior and lives of our companion animals, and the joy, love and excitement they bring to our lives.”

How to help: To learn more about the new R.K. Anderson Animal Behavior Endowment Fund and to view the video of Dr. Anderson talking about this initiative, please visit Contact: Gary Bidne, MAF, at, 303-790-2345.

About MAF: Morris Animal Foundation, established in 1948, is dedicated to funding research that protects, treats and cures companion animals and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals in some 100 countries, spanning all seven continents on earth. MAF has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The Foundation has funded more than 1,300 humane animal health studies with funds approaching $50 million. One hundred percent of all annual, unrestricted contributions support animal health studies, not administration or the cost of fund raising. For more information, call (800) 243-2345, or visit

About Dr. Anderson: Robert K. Anderson, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, DACVB, is a Charter Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Behaviorists, professor emeritus and director of the Center to Study Human Animal Relationships and Environments (CENSHARE), and the Animal Behavior Service and Veterinary Public Health programs of the College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota. Anderson is the co-inventor of the Gentle Leader® head collar and a longtime advocate of preventing behavior problems through early puppy socialization classes. He is the recipient of Lifetime Achievement Awards from the ASPCA, American Humane Association, and The Association for Veterinary Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine. As a veterinarian, epidemiologist, veterinary behaviorist, inventor, researcher, author and favorite professor and mentor, he has influenced the lives of countless professionals and pet owners. He recently established Animal Behavior Resources Institute, Inc., a free, collaborative 501(c)(3) non-profit educational resource for animal behavior professionals and their clients. For more information, go to Contact information:1666 Coffman Street, Suite 128, Falcon Heights, MN 55108, Phone(612)-644-7400, FAX (612)-644-4262.2


Comments are closed.