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A howling hit
Bark for Life brings out canines and humans to fight cancer.
Curly, a Golden Labrador, helped to fight cancer on Saturday.
Decked out in a purple Cancer Buster cape he completed a lap at Centennial Park during Porterville’s first Bark for Life event, a canine event to help fight cancer.
The American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life sponsored the event and hope to make it annual affair. The next Bark for Life will probably be mid-May 2013, organizers said.
“[The event] is a way to reach out to people who don’t know what we do,” said Rhonda Szeles, the team development chair for Relay for Life.
Cancer is not specific to one species.
“Obviously our friends [dogs] can succumb to cancer. [The] mortality rate for dogs with cancer is higher than humans,” said Szeles who pointed out that the Fresno Bulldogs mascot, Victor E, recently passed away from cancer. “[Canines] are caregivers to cancer patients so we want to honor them,” said Szeles.
She explained that the $377 raised from the registration, with a total of eight dogs registered, and the “My Dog is Cuter than Your Dog” contest will go to the American Cancer Society for cancer research, education, advocacy, and patient services.
The day began with a registration, a blessing of the pups, the ceremony walk, and a demonstration by the Porterville Police Department Canine Unit.
Joining Curly on the walk was a black and white Borgi named Bella. Bella’s owner Lori Davis, of Terra Bella attended the event with her daughter and granddaughter to support the ACS and Relay for Life.
All three have participated in past walks.
“[I] heard about the event through a flyer at work. It [cancer] touches everybody,” said Davis.
Curly’s owners Jeff and Joyce Mclaughlin, who are members of the Relay for Life Committee and are part of the Cancer Busters Relay for Life team, agreed.
Both have been personally affected by cancer.
“[My] grandad died from leukemia, and [my] wife’s grandad fought skin cancer,” said Jeff Mclaughlin. “Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It takes from the littlest kids to [the] oldest adults.”
Porterville Animal Control was on hand to adopt out kittens and dogs.
“[They’re] all up for adoption,” said Shannon Corbit, the rescue coordinator and volunteer.
According to PAC officer Erika Benevidez, the kittens were free and there was a $30 adoption fee for dogs.
For more information on Relay for Life visit www.relayforlife.org, and to find out more on the American Cancer Society visit www.cancer.org.