San Antonio, TX (May 16, 2016) - The Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation today announced grant investments totaling $2.35 million to support pet cancer research and treatment initiatives. Coinciding with the launch of the seventh annual Pet Cancer Awareness Month, this latest slate of grant funding brings the total amount invested to $9 million since the Petco Foundation, in partnership with Blue Buffalo Foundation, began raising support for their pet cancer initiative in 2010.
“With cancer being the number one disease-related cause of pet death, this is an issue which truly hits home for a number of pet families,” said Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation. “This year, we are particularly encouraged by the inspiring work that our grant recipients are doing at universities, research centers and foundations across the country to help support pets and families impacted by this disease.”
“As we enter our seventh year of partnership with the Petco Foundation, we are excited about our collaborative efforts to benefit pet cancer research and treatment initiatives,” said David Petrie, President, Blue Buffalo Foundation. “We look forward to working with top veterinary schools and leading animal welfare organizations to help eradicate pet cancer.”
This year, $1.75 million of funding will go towards pet cancer research efforts underway at the Morris Animal Foundation, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and the Animal Cancer Foundation.
Innovative Research That Benefits Pets and People
As a true testament to the bond we share with our companion animals, some of these research initiatives will provide broader context for the way we approach cancer treatments in human patients.
“The Penn Vet Shelter Canine Mammary Tumor program helps save homeless dogs with mammary tumors while at the same time advancing research on mammary tumors and breast cancer to benefit both dogs and women with this disease,” said Dr. Karin Sorenmo, Professor, Oncology, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. “Mammary tumors in dogs and breast cancer in women represent a major cause of illness and premature death in those affected throughout the world. Only through research can we change this, and this generous investment from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation will help further our efforts to the benefit of families impacted by cancer.”
Financial Help for Pet Parents Who Cannot Afford Cancer Treatments
Moreover, $1.05 million is being invested as part of a multi-year university partnership to support pet cancer treatment initiatives. Through the establishment of a “Petco Foundation & Blue Buffalo Foundation Cancer Treatment Support Fund,” each of the following universities will be able to provide subsidized support for cancer treatments for pets whose owners would not otherwise be able to afford the cost of treatment:
The support to these universities, along with other recipients including Riedel and Cody Fund, Magic Bullet Fund and FACE Foundation, has the potential to help treat animals suffering from cancer and save them. Another grant recipient, Pet Partners, will utilize the funds to provide subsidized support for cancer treatment for pets who have served others as therapy animals.
Pet Cancer Awareness Campaign May 14 – June 5
The Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Foundation’s seventh annual Pet Cancer Awareness fundraising campaign takes place May 14 – June 5, 2016. Animal lovers can help continue this important work by donating to the Petco Foundation at any Petco or Unleashed by Petco store, or at petco.com/pca.
About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $150 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay/neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 4.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.
With more than 50 years of service to pet parents, Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that focuses on nurturing powerful relationships between people and pets. We do this by providing the products, services, advice and experiences that keep pets physically fit, mentally alert, socially engaged and emotionally happy. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,430 Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including more than 115 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop; prescription services and pet supplies from the leading veterinary-operated pet product supplier, Drs. Foster & Smith; and petco.com.
About The Blue Buffalo Foundation
The Blue Buffalo Foundation was established in 2003 by Blue Buffalo Company, Ltd. a manufacturer of natural dog and cat foods under the BLUE™ brand names. Finding a cure for pet cancer is one of the top priorities for Blue Buffalo because its founders have had very personal experience with this disease. “Our dog Blue, a large breed Airedale and a great pal, had three bouts with cancer,” said Bill Bishop, Blue Buffalo’s founder. “After Blue’s battles, we wanted to do something meaningful to help find a cure for this devastating disease. So one of the first things we did after starting our pet food company was to establish the Foundation to raise money for pet cancer research, and raise awareness among pet parents of the early warning signs of this disease.” www.PetCancerAwareness.org.
About Blue Buffalo
Blue Buffalo, located in Wilton, CT, is the nation's leading natural pet food company, and provides natural dog food, natural cat food and treats under its BLUE Life Protection Formula®, BLUE Wilderness®, BLUE Basics®, BLUE Freedom® and BLUE Natural Veterinary Diet® lines. Paying tribute to its founding mission, the company, through the Blue Buffalo Foundation, is also a leading sponsor of pet cancer awareness and of critical studies of pet cancer, health, treatment and nutrition at top veterinary medical schools across the United States. For more information about Blue Buffalo, visit the company's website at www.BlueBuffalo.com.