Local dog lovers, in partnership with 2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit organization that funds comparative oncology research benefiting both pets and people, will host the third annual Puppy Up! Memphis Walk in Overton Park on April 27 to raise funds and awareness of the common links between canine and human cancers.
Registration begins at noon and the walk begins at 1:45.
The organization’s founder, Luke Robinson, along with his two dogs Hudson and Indiana, will be attending this walk before they begin their journey walking from the Canadian border to the Mexico border in memory of his Robinson’s dog Murphy. Just weeks after their first 2,300-mile journey from Austin to Boston ended, Murphy was diagnosed with nasal cancer. Sadly, a year later Murphy lost his battle with cancer.
Through Puppy Up! Walks and other educational campaigns, 2 Million Dogs is building the largest pet and people cancer community in the world. Like people, companion animals develop cancer: brain, breast, bone and lung cancer; lymphoma and melanoma are all common in pets, who are exposed to the same environmental factors as humans. Veterinary oncologists believe there are between 4 and 8 million new cases of cancer in companion animals every year.
“The people of Memphis and 2 Million Dogs are committed to eradicating cancer in pets and people, and we ask everyone and their dog to Puppy Up! against this deadly disease,” said Ginger Morgan, local walk coordinator and executive director of 2 Million Dogs. “This community supports those with cancer, honors the friends we have lost, and walks for those we can help.
“Comparative oncology has tremendous potential to give us key insights to what’s causing cancer across species. Comparative oncology is important and necessary if we want a world in which cancer is no longer one of the top killers of our children, our parents, and our pets.”
The organization has donated more than $80,000 for a comparative oncology study of mammary tumors at Princeton University in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania. The project treats shelter dogs with mammary tumors and then studies tissues to understand how breast cancer metastasizes in women. More recently, 2 Million Dogs contributed $20,000 to fund a study on osteosarcoma (bone cancer) at MIT and Harvard’s Broad Institute. 2 Million Dogs is also providing $80,000 to Animal Medical Center of New York and Sloan Kettering to study transitional cell carcinoma. This is the most common type of bladder cancer diagnosed by veterinarians, and a difficult one to treat.
Preregistration by April 25 is $20 per person; free for kids 14 and under; kids must be accompanied by an adult. Registration the day of the walk is $25 per person. Participants may bring up to two dogs each. All dogs must be 4 months or older, up to date on vaccinations and must be on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times (no retractable leashes). Water for dogs and waste bags will be provided.
For more on the Puppy Up! Walk or to register, please visit www.2Milliondogs.org