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Dog Owners, Orvis Raise $1 Million for Morris Animal Foundation

Posted: Jan. 24, 2014, 1:55 p.m. EST


Dogs howl with pleasure in his presence. He is Jonathan Goldsmith, the "most interesting man in the world,” according to his Dos Equis beer commercials.

Goldsmith, a 75-year-old actor, has volunteered his services and his dog, Willy, for two online commercials promoting The Orvis Co.’s Dog Cover Photo Contest and Million Dollar Dog Sweepstakes. Orvis is a Manchester, Vt.-based seller of fishing and hunting equipment, sporting goods and dog products.

The inaugural Million Dollar Dog Sweepstakes recognizes Orvis’ five-year Canine Cancer Campaign, a project has netted nearly $1 million for canine cancer research and awareness on behalf of Morris Animal Foundation.

 Jonathan Goldsmith
Jonathan Goldsmith was happy to play himself and co-star with his dog in online videos.
Michael Helms
"The health of animals, especially dogs, is important to me,” Goldsmith said. "The opportunity to help the Morris Animal Foundation in their efforts and also work alongside Willy is hard to resist.”

The first YouTube video that Goldsmith and Willy appear in may be viewed at Orvis.com/CoverDog.

Orvis has raised money for the Denver-based Morris Animal Foundation since 2009 through the Cover Dog Contest, a semiannual event in which dog owners try to get their pet onto an Orvis catalog cover by submitting the animal’s photo. Money is donated to Morris through public voting on the photos.

Morris has put its windfall, which is expected to top $1 million when the current contest ends March 31, to good use by developing cancer detection tests for dogs and funding 150 canine cancer studies.

Anyone who enters the Cover Dog Contest by Feb. 15 at Orvis.com/CoverDog is automatically entered in the Million Dollar Dog Sweepstakes. One dog will be chosen at random and win a year’s supply of Blue Buffalo dog food, a TempurPedic dog bed and a $500 Orvis gift card.

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