In 2019, thanks to a generous award from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Can­cer Treatment Support Fund, 28 pet patients received lifesaving financial grants. The award was the first of a two-year, $150,000 investment to support oncology patient care at the Flint Animal Cancer Center.

The fund allows the Flint Animal Cancer Center to provide financial assistance for patients with specific diagnoses, requiring tests and treatment that can cost $5,000-$10,000 or more. Last year’s grants supported pet patients with brain and nasal tumors. In addition to supporting patient care, the award offers the opportunity for the cancer center clinicians to learn more about the therapeutic benefits of treatments, which would potentially help future patients.

“The generous grant from the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Cancer Treatment Support Fund ensures money isn’t a barrier to care. The fund helps support costs for patients needing treatments that can be cost-prohibitive for many families. Not only do patients receive the care they need, but these cases also allow our team an opportunity to learn and advance care for future patients,” said Dr. Susan Lana, Flint Animal Cancer Center’s oncol­ogy service chief.

Nero’s Story

While Tyler was serving in the military, he began to research dog breeds and fell in love with English Bull Terriers. After two years of searching, Nero entered his life in October 2010 and instantly stole Tyler’s heart. After separating from the military in 2013, Nero (pictured above) and Tyler grew even closer as they traveled the U.S. for Tyler’s new job. In late 2019, Tyler took Nero to his primary veterinarian after he began stumbling and walking into walls. They were referred to the Flint Animal Cancer Center; the Oncology and Neurology departments suspected a meningioma, the most commonly diagnosed brain tumor in dogs and cats. An MRI confirmed that Nero had a large, inoperable brain tumor. Definitive radiation therapy was the most aggressive form of treatment for Nero, but the bills and stress from just the initial diagnosis were already beginning to take a toll on Tyler. With financial assistance provided by the PetCo Foundation and Blue Buffalo Cancer Treatment patient assistance fund, Nero was able to receive three fractions of stereotactic radiation therapy, and his neurologic status improved. In Tyler’s words, “We still have a long recovery process ahead, but Nero is a tough dog, and I am thankful for the extra time with him. There really are no words to express my gratitude.”

About the Pet Cancer Awareness Campaign

For 11 years, the Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo have teamed up to raise funds to help with the costs of pet cancer treatment, provide lifesaving surgeries, continue ground­breaking research for a cure, and fund clinical trials for new therapies. The campaign runs each May in Petco Stores nationwide and online. For more information, visit the Petco Foundation.