Lessons From A Paralyzed Dog teaches people how to take care of their paraplegic pet. But occasionally I share other topics about animal health, especially when they’re as important as the Stop Cancer Furever Campaign, sponsored by Morris Animal Foundation.
The Foundation just launched its 6th annual campaign on May 1 for Pet Cancer Awareness Month. Their goal is to share the importance about cancer research for animals around the world. New research will increase the understanding about how to prevent, diagnose earlier and treat animal cancers.
If animals have been part of your world for a while, it’s more than likely cancer has touched at least one of their lives. It has in my family.
Animal cancer effects everyone
Cancer impacts animals everywhere. Each year, more than 12 million pets in the USA are diagnosed with some form of the disease. It’s the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of 2 and the second leading cause of death in cats.
Since 1962, Morris Animal Foundation has funded more than 300 cancer studies. They’ve invested nearly $40 million and the foundation continues to make progress against the disease every year.
“We’ve come a long way and made some very important breakthroughs possible, but there is still so much work to be done,” said Tiffany Grunert, President/CEO of Morris Animal Foundation. “We’re advancing cancer care step by step, by funding only the best, most impactful studies. We can’t do that, though, without public support. Help us stop cancer forever.”
Thanks to Morris Animal Foundation there’ve been lots of breakthroughs and advancements in cancer care.
- Improved understanding of aggressive mast cell tumors
- Advancement of a new diagnostic tool for feline injection-site sarcomas
- Improved dosing of cancer drugs in dogs to enhance treatment outcomes for osteosarcoma and carcinomas
- Testing of a canine melanoma vaccine, now confirmed safe and effective in horses with melanoma, providing an effective treatment for a devastating cancer in horses
Matching funds campaign
The Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo are partnering with Morris Animal Foundation with a dollar-for-dollar gift match, up to $200,000, until the end of the campaign on June 30. The funds will enable the Foundation to continue their research.
Since 2003, the two organizations have given more than $7 million to fight cancer in dogs and cats. Both are happy to continue their efforts in 2019.
Click here to read: Teaming Up With Tripawds For Pet Cancer Awareness
My dog’s cancer story
In the late 1990’s a handsome, intelligent and sweet German shepherd puppy joined my family. We were the 4th home he’d been in during the first 4 months of his life. Through no fault of his own, he kept getting pushed from one family to another. But when he landed at our house, we all knew he found his forever home.
We named him Bear.
Bear grew into his name. He was a gentle 106lb giant. He was the protector of our home, my son, our other dogs and cats. Bear loved the water and quickly learned how to play and join in on every game of water volleyball we had each summer. Our family even had house rules so he could score points during games.
In 2002 we moved to a new home. Bear exchanged his love of swimming pools to daily walks around the 3-mile loop in our new neighborhood. He also took up the hobby of “house hunting” as new homes in the area were built. He was a special dog.
By 2005, Bear was getting to be an old guy. He went blind and he had a ACL tear in his knee. But before we could do surgery to fix it, Bear had a bad night. The next morning, we found out he had Hemangiosarcoma. It’s a fast-growing cancer that occurs in the lining of the blood vessels. It’s a common cancer in German shepherds.
Dogs with the disease have a poor outcome. Our vet referred us to a specialist who came to town once a month to treat all the cancer patients. Bear received 4 treatments of chemotherapy. And we had 4 great months with him. He passed away at home, in our arms.
Everyone has a story
I’m pretty sure everyone reading this story has a similar experience. Cancer is a profoundly horrible disease that takes too many of our treasured pets. And because of my personal experiences with Bear and our quirky cat, Sport, I want all pet owners to know about this campaign. Research is the key to beating cancer.
Additional grants for cancer in cats
In addition to matching funds for the Stop Cancer Furever Campaign, Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo have pledged $250,000 in grants. The funds will allow researchers to study two new approaches for the treatment of oral squamous cell carcinoma in cats. This is the most common form of oral cancer in cats and it’s usually fatal. Less than 10% of felines diagnosed with the condition survive one year.
The first study will evaluate a treatment that combines radiation with an anticancer compound. And the second study will determine if small molecular inhibitors can block the growth of tumors.
And Morris Animal Foundation will be using new imaging technology during the studies that will help them detect if any cancer cells are left behind after surgery.
Who is Morris Animal Foundation?
Morris Animal Foundation has been around since 1948. I’ve subscribed to their newsletter for years. Their mission is to “bridge science and resources to advance the health of animals.” They conduct health studies for the benefit of all animals.
Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo
Petco Foundation is the nonprofit arm of the Petco company. They’ve partnered with more than 4,000 animal welfare groups for spay and neuter programs, adoption events, pet cancer research and training for service and therapy dogs.
Blue Buffalo is a leading pet food company. They’ve sponsored critical research studies for pet cancer treatment and the role good nutrition plays in the lives of our dogs and cats.
If you’d like to contribute to this campaign, gifts can be made online at, Stop Cancer Furever.