Gates Foundation announced a $1 billion grant Thursday to support research into dogs’ ability to stay out in the outdoors.
The nonprofit is the largest single donor to the Animal Health and Safety Fund, which focuses on animal welfare issues and public health.
The foundation said the funding will be focused on dog-friendly buildings and programs, as well as animal-friendly food options.
“This grant will help us develop our own dogs and understand how we can better provide our dogs with the food they need,” Bill Gates Foundation President and CEO Craig Smith said in a statement.
“We know dogs have a lot of love and respect, and we want to make sure our dogs get the right opportunities to learn, grow, and thrive.”
Gates Foundation president and CEO, Craig Smith, and board member, Carol Varela, spoke to reporters on the third day of the annual Animal Health Summit in Boston.
The conference brings together the nation’s largest animal health and safety organizations to discuss public health issues related to animals, including dog health.
Gates and Varena announced the funding in a joint statement that will go to the foundation’s animal health programs.
The Animal Health Foundation was established in 2001 by Bill and Melinda Gates.
The two philanthropists have been vocal about their commitment to animal welfare, with the foundation supporting animal charities including the Humane Society of the United States, Animal Charity Evaluators, the Humane League, the National Association of Animal Hospital Directors, and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
The organization also provides training for animal care professionals, as part of the “Dogs on Wheels” program.
In March, the foundation announced plans to expand the “Dog on Wheels Project,” which is aimed at educating people on dog safety, in collaboration with other animal welfare organizations.
The first phase of the dog-on-wheels project is slated to begin in 2019.
Gates Foundation, the largest charitable foundation in the world, is the recipient of more than $2.7 billion in funding annually.
In April, the organization announced that it had signed a contract to provide $50 million in annual support for animal shelters.