Local dog lovers, in partnership with 2 Million Dogs, a national nonprofit organization working to support comparative oncology and educate the public about the common links between cancer in humans and companion animals, will host a “Summer of Murphy” tour stop at 5 p.m. Saturday at Belton Small Animal Clinic, 2607 N. Main St.

The Summer of Murphy tour was inspired by the loss of one of the two companions who accompanied Luke Robinson on a cross-country walk to raise awareness of comparative oncology in 2008. Robinson intends this tour to honor and celebrate the lives of other pets with cancer — those who have survived, those who are fighting and those who have succumbed.

“Cancer touches everyone,” Robinson said. “Cancer is the world’s greatest scourge, the deadliest pandemic facing pets and people alike. We are here to celebrate and remember survivors as well as those we have lost, and share the spirit of Murphy and other dogs who do not give up or give in until the end.”

2 Million Dogs has built the largest pet and people cancer community in the world to advocate for comparative oncology, an emerging field of study that is broadening the understanding of the links between human and animal cancer, according to a news release.

Just like people, animals develop cancer of the brain, breast, bone and lungs. Lymphoma and melanoma are all common in pets, who are exposed to the same environmental factors as humans. Veterinary oncologists believe there are between 4 million and 8 million new cases of cancer in companion animals every year. Most of those never receive adequate care or treatment and often go undiagnosed, according to 2 Million Dogs.

“The field of comparative oncology is relatively new, however, it has tremendous potential to give us key insights to what’s causing cancer across species,” said Ginger Morgan, executive director of 2 Million Dogs. “Comparative oncology is important and necessary if we want a world in which cancer is no longer one of the top killers of our children, our parents and our pets.”

The Summer of Murphy tour began in August and visits 24 cities across the country, including Denison, San Antonio and Austin.

For more information, go to www.2milliondogs.org.

Contact Kristi Johnson at kristij@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7548

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