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Area dog lovers, in partnership with 2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit organization that funds comparative oncology research benefiting both pets and people, will hold a Puppy Up! walk at Hammonasset State Park to raise funds and awareness of the common links between canine and human cancers. The walk will be Sunday, Nov. 3 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the state park, 1288 Boston Post Road, Madison.
Through Puppy Up! walks and other educational campaigns, 2 Million Dogs seeks to build the largest pet and people cancer community in the world. Like people, companion animals develop cancer. Many forms of cancer are common in pets, who are exposed to the same environmental factors as humans.
"Like 2 Million Dogs, we on the shoreline are committed to eradicating cancer in pets and people, and we ask everyone and their dog to Puppy Up! against this deadly disease," said Valerie Kodman, local walk coordinator. "Our communities support 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," said Ginger Morgan, executive director of
2 Million Dogs. "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 donated $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, and is also providing $80,000 to Animal Medical Center of New York to study transitional cell carcinoma, the most common type of bladder cancer veterinarians diagnose.
Preregistration by Friday, Nov. 1 is $20 per person. The walk is free for children 14 and under. Children 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 four months or older, up to date on vaccinations, and must be on a six-foot or shorter leash at all times. Retractable leashes are not allowed. Water for dogs and waste bags will be provided.