Get Your Puppy Up!

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“One out of 3 dogs will get cancer, and 1 out of 4 dogs that have cancer will die from it,” said Hope Parker, the local coordinator for the Puppy Up!

“One out of 3 dogs will get cancer, and 1 out of 4 dogs that have cancer will die from it,” said Hope Parker, the local coordinator for the Puppy Up! Dog Walk, which will take place in Denver for the third straight year on Saturday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Stapleton Central Park. Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m.

The walk is one of many across the nation sponsored by 2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit that funds comparative oncology research benefiting both pets and humans. It was formed in 2010 to educate the public about common links between cancer in humans and companion animals. “Dogs get the same types of cancer people get,” said Parker, “and undergo the same types of treatment.”

The event is a fundraiser. Walkers who don’t fundraise pay $30 to register. Kids under 14 walk for free. Fundraisers donate everything they make. Walkers who donate at least $100 get a Puppy Up! T-shirt and bandanna.

In the past two years, the Puppy Up! Dog Walk has raised about $10,000 each year. The most money one person has raised in the Denver walk is $900. Last year 200 people and dogs walked.

Every year Denver Puppy Up! picks a human cancer hero and a canine cancer hero to lead the walk. This year’s heroes are Hunter Baker, a 15-year-old osteosarcoma survivor, and Rowan, a 7-year-old Kerry Blue terrier who survived lymphoma.

Parker has been the coordinator of the walk since 2010. “I was inspired to volunteer to organize the local Puppy Up! Denver walk after having two dogs with cancer at the same time,” she said. “Dogs truly are our best friends because research done on dogs with cancer can also lead to improvement in medical treatment of people with cancer. ”