Local dog lovers, in partnership with 2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit organization working to support comparative oncology, are holding the event to do outreach and share life-saving information.
It's part of 2 Million Dogs' "Summer of Murphy" tour going on from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Little Rock Animal Village (4500 Kramer Street).
Just 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 four and eight million new cases of cancer in companion animals every year. Most of those never receive adequate care or treatment and often go undiagnosed.
2 Million Dogs has built the largest pet and people cancer community in the world to advocate for comparative oncology, an emerging field of study that is broadening the understanding of the links between human and animal cancer.
"The field of comparative oncology is relatively new, however it 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 Summer of Murphy Tour was inspired by the loss of one of the two companions who accompanied Luke Robinson on a cross-country walk to raise awareness of comparative oncology in 2008. Similarly Robinson intends this tour to honor and celebrate the lives of other pets with cancer - those who have survived, those who are fighting, and those have succumbed.
"Cancer touches everyone," said Robinson. "Cancer is the world's greatest scourge, the deadliest pandemic facing pets and people alike. We are here to celebrate and remember survivors as well as those we have lost, and share the spirit of Murphy and other dogs who do not give up or give in until the end."
The Summer of Murphy tour, which started in August, visits 23 cities besides Little Rock, including: Nashville TN, Denison TX, Belton TX, San Antonio TX, Austin TX, Santa Fe NM, Albuquerque NM, Las Vegas NV for the First Annual Puppy Up Charity Golf Tournament, Denver CO, Garden City KS, Liberty MO, Chicago IL, Indianapolis IN, Cincinnati OH, Columbus OH, Fairborn OH, Pittsburgh PA, New Castle PA, Monessen PA, Clinton NJ, Jersey City NJ, New Milford CT, and Madison CT.
2 Million Dogs recently donated $50,000 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.
2 Million Dogs, the largest pet and people cancer community in the world, was established to support comparative oncology and educate the public about common links between cancer in humans and companion animals.