Just when you think that people don't open up their hearts enough to help pets and their owners, you meet someone like Dr. Neil Shaw and his brother Darryl. These two amazing individuals -- and founders of BluePearl Veterinary Partners -- started a non-profit organization, The Veterinary Cancer Foundation, whose mission is to save pets with cancer. In actuality, their mission was much broader -- to raise money and help pets who would otherwise suffer without proper care or be euthanized due to their families' lack of financial resources.
In 2008, the foundation changed its name to "Frankie's Friends" to honor Frankie, a beautiful Greyhound and the beloved pet of the Edward DeBartolo family of Tampa. The big-hearted DeBartolo clan rescued Frankie from the horrific world of dog racing and spent the next 10 years showering her with all the love and care she deserved.
Frankie died in 2006. She had been treated by Dr. Shaw and his team of vet specialists since 2000 for both heart disease and cancer. To demonstrate their appreciation to the team at Florida Veterinary Specialists -- and to honor their beloved Frankie -- the DeBartolo family has been among the foundation's most generous supporters. So while the loss of Frankie was indeed sad, and quite poignant, her passing served as the impetus for many good things to come for other animals in need.
How you can support Frankie's Fund
There are many facets of Frankie's Fund each offering a variety of ways you can help. These include:
Cure Canine Lymphoma Project: Launched in 2009, this project's goal is to treat dogs with lymphoma and find a cure for the most common cancer in dogs. The objectives of this effort are to:
- raise public awareness of the successful early treatment of the disease;
- provide free care for dogs enrolled in clinical programs of promising new treatments; and
- assist with heavily discounted care for dogs whose families cannot afford treatment
HOPE Fund: The HOPE fund provides grants for families who have few alternatives if they simply cannot afford to pay for a pet's unexpected illness. If families can demonstrate financial need and their pet has a good prognosis for recovery to a normal quality of life, they will be considered for the program.
The folks at Frankie's Friends are doing so many wonderful things to help assist those in need -- both pets and owners -- and for this we thank them. To learn more about how you can help Frankie's Friends, go to http://www.frankiesfriends.com/