Pet Partners, an organization that registers therapy animals for animal-assisted interventions, announced the continued existence of its Cancer Care Fund, helping therapy animals with cancer. Thanks to support from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo, the Cancer Care Fund will continue to assist therapy animals in need, having helped nine therapy animal teams so far this year and 49 teams in total since its inception.
Funds help pay for a range of expenses associated with cancer, including diagnostic procedures, chemotherapy or other direct forms of treatment, alternative cancer-related procedures, and end-of-life care or pain mitigation.
“Our Pet Partners therapy animal teams make more than 3 million life-enhancing visits per year, and through our Cancer Care Fund, we’re able to help enhance their lives while they deal with the devastating diagnosis of cancer. We’re so grateful to the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo for their continued support,” said Annie Peters, Pet Partners president and CEO.
Pet Partners therapy animal handler Cyndie Kieffer has been volunteering with the organization since 2002. She and her dog Jack make regular visits to local nursing homes and universities. Jack was diagnosed with cancer, but thanks to the Cancer Care Fund, she was able to lessen the financial burden associated with treating him.
“When Jack was diagnosed with cancer we were shocked,” Kieffer said. “The fact that the Cancer Care Fund was available eased our minds knowing we could focus on getting him healthy. Jack is cancer-free and happily back volunteering.”
“The Cancer Care Fund is a tremendous gift that we are fortunate to give to our hard-working, life-changing therapy teams,” said Dr. Goodman, Pet Partners consulting veterinarian. “These teams have spent their lives bringing comfort, joy and healing to so many—it is only right that we support our teams at this difficult time in their lives! Many thanks to Petco Foundation, Blue Buffalo, and Pet Partners for opening up their hearts to support and honor our therapy animals.”
Therapy animals, such as those who participate in the Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program, provide affection and comfort to members of the public, typically in facility settings such as hospitals, assisted living and schools. These pets have a special aptitude for interacting with members of the public and enjoy doing so. Therapy animal handlers volunteer their time to visit with their animals in the community.