The Joshua Louis Animal Cancer Foundation has announced its annual fundraiser to help families who have pets with cancer.
The all-volunteer nonprofit group’s second Walk, Run & Wag 5K and Ice Cream Social will be held at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, on Sunday, May 3, and registration is open for the event.
“Cancer affects millions of animals’ lives each year.” – Dr. Joshua Lachowicz
“Cancer affects millions of animals’ lives each year,” said Dr. Joshua Lachowicz of Jersey City, a board-certified veterinary oncologist and foundation co-founder. “More than 20 percent of animals over five – and nearly 50 percent over 10 years old — will be diagnosed with cancer.”
Dogs and cats develop the same types of cancers as humans and are required to go through the same treatments, including chemotherapy, immunotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy. Animals often tolerate the treatment better than with humans.
“But the costs in veterinary oncology parallel those in human oncology, and unfortunately this can make it unaffordable for some,” Lachowicz said.
Lachowicz said pets should be taken for regular veterinary visits.
Spaying and neutering them early in life can reduce the risk of cancers such as breast, ovarian, and testicular, which may develop later in life. Managing weight is also important because some carcinogens are stored within fat cells.
Dogs develop lymphoma, and tumors to their internal organs and bones. Cats get a variety of tumors in the mouth, lungs, and intestines.
“Animals in Hudson County are more susceptible because it’s an urban environment,” Lachowicz said. “There are more things they’re exposed to, such as radon, chemicals, and pollution.”
A pet lover’s crusade
This year’s walk will feature guest Christine Nagy, a New York City radio personality and animal rights supporter. Nagy lost her cat Mickey to lymphoma when he was only six years old.
“This is so important because it makes treatment possible for families that might not have been able to afford this much-needed option,” Nagy said.
The event will start and finish near the historic Central Railroad of New Jersey terminal in Liberty State Park. The course takes walkers up and down the boardwalk alongside New York Harbor, which views of the harbor, Statue of Liberty, and Lower Manhattan.
Hundreds of participants and their pets walked in last year’s event, raising nearly $40,000. This year, the foundation’s goal is $50,000 or more.
Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with a 10 a.m. kickoff slated.
Registration is required prior to the event. To register, or for more information, go to www.JoshuaLouis.org/2015-5k.html.
Pets are welcome to participate.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.