Will You Raise Your Paw for Canine Comparative Oncology?

Our pet dogs are family members. There’s nothing quite like looking down for some tail-wagging approval. We know we only get so much time with them, so we want to cherish every day. Unfortunately, our pet dogs get cancer just like we do. In fact, over 1 million pet dogs are treated for cancer in the U.S. each year. The V Foundation for Cancer Research is hoping to drastically reduce that number by funding research that will lead to new treatments for pet dogs and for humans taking on cancer.

Through the V Foundation’s canine comparative oncology program, we are funding research that teams up top-rated veterinary medical centers with NCI-designated cancer centers to help pet dogs and humans with cancer. Our hope is to create faster and less costly drug therapies, as well as better informed clinical trials for both.

The American Kennel Club, alongside their AKC Canine Health Foundation, jumped in with four paws forward it announced a $25,000 donation to support canine comparative oncology in December 2019. In January, at the AKC Meet the Breeds event in New York, the V Foundation launched “Raise Your Paw,” an initiative to drive awareness and donation to canine comparative oncology.

While there, we chatted with many dog lovers who have lost their pets to cancer.

Joseph Steinfeld lost his Neapolitan Mastiff, Minerva, when she was diagnosed with osteosarcoma at just 5 and ½ years old.

“I was very close with Minerva; since she was from a litter I kept, I had her from birth,” said Steinfeld. “She always wanted to protect me. She would look at me with an adoration that nobody could ever deserve.”

Officer Mike Andrel of the Darby Township Police Department outside of Philadelphia, is a police K-9 handler. He lost a star drug and patrol dog, Ruger, when he developed lymphoma at the age of 7.

“He was with me from when he was a puppy, so it was not an easy thing to deal with,” said Andrel.

Jennifer Tower’s flat-coated retriever, Joy, may have been a naughty (but very cute) puppy, but she stole her heart. Unfortunately, Joy was diagnosed with, and eventually passed away from, a heart-based tumor.

“Joy did everything with me,” said Tower. “Every day, I see a little bit of her in her puppies and grandpuppies, so she’s still here.”

There are countless stories of families who have lost a beloved dog far too early because of cancer. So, we ask you to #RaiseYourPaw and help us fight back.

How can you join the movement? Learn more about the program and make a donation by visiting You can also get your pups involved by posting a picture of them “Raising Their Paw” on social media along with #RaiseYourPaw.

Mostly, you can enjoy every second you have with your dog, because far too many of our furry friends get cancer. As Steinfeld told us, “Finding out Minerva had cancer was like being told my dog had a time bomb inside her.” With continued funding of more research in the canine comparative oncology field, we’ll hope to be able to cut the correct wire to save more of our beloved pets.