Shirlee Thomas’s passion for golden retrievers is endless. She helps rescue and place adoptable golden retrievers in northern California into safe, loving homes. Recently, she helped a family and a special dog named Bella. Bella is a golden retriever puppy who connected instantly with Dario, a young boy fighting a genetic cancer. Dario and Bella became friends shortly after Dario went into remission.
All Dario ever wanted was a cuddly, playful pet, and he found that in Bella. Sadly, shortly after Bella came into his life, Dario’s cancer came back, and the family decided the puppy would need to find a new home. So Shirlee helped find Bella a new home—right next door. The new arrangement has worked beautiful and allows Dario to visit Bella, always bringing her goodies of course.
“They have a special connection,” says Shirlee, “a connection that only best friends can have.”
Dario and Shirlee are teaming up in another way by participating in Morris Animal Foundation’s 2nd annual K9 Cancer Walk in Elk Grove, California, on April 24. The Foundation launched the K9 Cancer Walk program as a way to raise funds for our Canine Cancer Campaign, which funds prevention and treatment research to help dogs enjoy longer, healthier, cancer-free lives. Participating in one of these walks is a great way to memorialize a beloved dog lost to cancer or to create a brighter future for a current canine companion.
Shirlee formed a team representing the Golden Retriever Meetup and Norcal Golden Rescue after she learned about the success of the 2009 walk, which raised nearly $20,000 for canine cancer research. She knew she needed to be a part of the walk because her golden retriever, Sampson, is currently going through treatment for lymphoma, and she lost another dog to hemangiosarcoma. Her team is now competing with another to see who can raise the most funds.
“I am thrilled that there is a foundation out there that is dedicated to finding a cure for canine cancer,” Shirlee says.
Though he can’t join the walk in person, Dario will be a virtual team member through the Sit & Stay for a Cure option.
We encourage all dog lovers to join the Elk Grove event by participating in Sit & Stay for a Cure. This year’s goal is to raise $30,000 for research that will help prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure cancer in dogs. The Foundation will also host K9 Cancer Walks in Estes Park, Colorado, on August 20 and in San Francisco on October 10.
To participate in the K9 Cancer Walk, visit Morris Animal Foundation By joining together, you can help us help your best friends live longer, happier lives.
About Morris Animal Foundation: Morris Animal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1948, is dedicated to funding animal health research that protects, treats and cures companion animals, horses and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals on all seven continents. MAF has its headquarters in Denver. Charity Navigator ranks MAF as a four-star charity, the highest rating. MAF is a BBB Wise Giving Alliance Charity Seal Holder. For more information, call 800.243.2345 or visit MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.
Morris Animal Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit established in 1948, is dedicated to funding animal health research that protects, treats and cures companion animals, horses and wildlife. For more information, call 800.243.2345 or visit http://MorrisAnimalFoundation.org