$30M gift helps launch Canine Health Center at Cornell

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ITHACA — A $30 million gift from Margaret and Richard Riney has endowed and named the Cornell Margaret and Richard Riney Canine Health Center at the College of Veterinary Medicine to improve the health and well-being of dogs through world-class research, outreach and engagement with dog lovers.

The transformational gift accelerates the center’s launch and endows funding critical for advancing canine health-related research and innovations, the announcement said.

“We know personally the importance and benefits of the relationships humans form with animals, especially with our pets,” Richard Riney said. “We wanted to support far-ranging research initiatives that may help dogs live their best lives, while recognizing that research into the canine condition can help to advance human medicine.”

The launch of the Cornell Riney Canine Health Center comes at a time when the pandemic allowed people to spend more time at home, strengthening many pet owners’ bonds with their animals. Breakthroughs and advancements in telehealth, diagnostics and therapeutics have made the potential for advancements in canine research greater than ever, officials said.

The gift positions the Cornell Riney Canine Health Center to become a leading source of research-based information about dogs. The funding will initially endow a significant internal grants program for canine health-related research, with particular emphasis on studying cancer, genetics and genomics, infectious diseases and immunology. The center aims to establish itself as the most trusted source for information related to canine health. The center’s website will feature useful health-related videos, online seminars, stories and other “explainers.”

Online venues will be created to facilitate two-way communication between the center’s experts and content developers and the public.

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