K9K Walk Raises Nearly $30,000 for Animal Cancer Foundation

Pets and Their Owners Walk For a Cure

Approximately 200 people and their dogs turned out for Nationwide pet insurance’s 9th annual three-kilometer K9K Walk for Pet Cancer on Nov. 8, helping raise nearly $30,000 in an effort to fund research endeavors for the Animal Cancer Foundation.

The Leading Cause of Death

The walk coincides with Nationwide’s thirteenth annual campaign since the company launched Pet Cancer Awareness Month in 2005, an event that has sparked increased cancer awareness and philanthropy among pet owners nationwide.

The event registration booth set a unified tone for the K9K; participants, many of them policyholders, received Nationwide t-shirts to wear during the walk and their furry friends were given special red bandanas to sport around their necks, giving a light-hearted touch to such a serious event.

People walk

Making Strides in Cancer Treatment

“Nationwide’s nine-year commitment to our mission has enabled us to increase funding for groundbreaking research,” said Barbara Cohen, Executive Director, Animal Cancer Foundation.

“By joining together for the Long Beach K9K, Nationwide and ACF are able to educate pet owners about early detection of pet cancer, explain advances in specialty treatment made possible by research, and inform them about the role that studying naturally occurring pet cancers has in building a greater understanding of cancer in people.”

Dr. Mona Rosenberg, CEO of the Veterinary Cancer Group, reiterated the importance of supporting the cause. “Cancer is a treatable disease and there is hope,” she said. “Although great strides have been made in cancer treatment, we still have a long way to go.”

In addition to the funds raised at the Long Beach K9K, Nationwide will donate $5 to the ACF, up to $20,000, for every photo, story or statistic shared on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #CurePetCancer during the month of November. For more information, visit www.curepetcancer.com.

“Cancer is a treatable disease and there is hope.”

Pet Owners Eager to Help

Woman and dog walk

The K9K Cancer Walk hit home for many of the participants who have lost pets to cancer. People shared emotional stories of losing their pets to the disease or knowing someone who has shared a similar fate. Others took part in the K9K as a means of goodwill to support the cause.

“Although my dog is healthy, I want to do everything I can to support these issues now should we have to deal with this [cancer] down the road,” said Diane Kacer, a walker and Nationwide pet policyholder who was joined by her husband and one-year-old St. Bernard, Bella.

Jennifer Dentino, a participant and Nationwide employee, brought three of her dogs to the event. She expressed concern about the potential effect the disease could have on her animals. “You see what cancer can do to people, and it just makes you want to support all the research you can.”

Increasing Pet Cancer Awareness

Brian Iannessa, public relations supervisor for Nationwide pet insurance, said he hopes pet owners left the event with a strong sense of accomplishment and a warm feeling of community. “Our goal was to involve as many policyholders as possible in a unified effort against the number one disease-related cause of death in pets.

"When you consider that we only reached out to several of our Southern California customers and close to 200 people and their dogs showed up, it's a wonderful example of just how much Nationwide pet insurance policyholders emphatically care for pets. It certainly made us proud.”

Recognizing Cancer in Your Pet

“Just like humans, cancer is a looming danger in the lives of our pets,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, Vice President and Chief Veterinary Medical Officer for Nationwide. “The prevalence of pet cancer continues to increase year over year." 

Nearly 67,000 canine and feline cancer-related claims were filed with Nationwide in 2014, an increase of nearly 4,000 claims since 2013. Such a growth indicates the importance of routine veterinarian visits to monitor pets for early signs of the disease.

"Advances in treatment and early detection, along with affordable financial solutions, have given pet lovers a number of options to fight back.

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