Our first annual PuppyUp Walk on October 5th was such a special event! We are so thankful for our staff, many volunteers, friends and family, and all our walkers that helped make this event a success. We would like to express our immense gratitude to these volunteers, because without them the walk would not have been possible: Terry Rothwell, Michelle Rothwell, Susie Spicer, Susan Cowsill, and Toni Montoya.

This two-mile PuppyUp walk was held at Frank S. Ortiz Dog Park, with 35 participating canines and over $5,100 raised for the PuppyUp Foundation.

The PuppyUp foundation was created by Luke Robinson when he and his dogs walked 4,000 miles across America to fulfill the promise he made to his canine companion Malcom who died from cancer in 2006.

The Foundation is committed to facilitating grants to fund comparative oncology that unites canine and human cancers, broadening the scope of research for both man and man’s best friend. Comparative Oncology is a type of cancer research that looks at the similarities of human and canine cancer. Like humans, dogs develop cancer naturally.

Dr. Jeannette M. Kelly is the owner of Veterinary Cancer Care, and was the host for Santa Fe’s Inaugural Puppy Up event. When asked why Veterinary Cancer Care decided to host this year’s event, Dr. Kelly stated “PuppyUp walks help to save our beloved fur baby’s lives. These walks bring our communities together to build awareness so we can educate on prevention and one day cure cancer.”

The funds raised by the PuppyUp Foundation goes to help fund grants for comparative oncology research, as well as raise awareness about cancer prevention, causes and treatments for both humans and canines. In the past, the national PuppyUp Foundation has been able to fund a $100,000 grant given to The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in collaboration with Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California – Davis. This funding will be used to study NK Cell Therapy for dogs with osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Natural killer cell immunotherapy uses a subset of the dog’s own immune system that is highly effective at killing cancer. The Foundation also awarded a $96,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine in Madison to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of stereotactic radiation for dogs with bone cancer (osteosarcoma, a cancer that affects dogs and children).

If you didn’t make it to this year’s PuppyUp Walk, we hope to make this an annual event. Please stay tuned for information on next year’s walk.

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