Two veterinarians tend to a large black dog in a clinic.
Registered veterinary technologist Heather Desjardin (left) and medical oncology resident Dr. Allison Williams sit with Ben, a cancer patient at the WCVM Veterinary Medical Centre. (Photo: Christina Weese)

Two hundred toys donated to dogs with cancer at USask veterinary medical centre

A local pet store has teamed up with a charity called Kali’s Wish Cancer Foundation to deliver hundreds of toys to dogs undergoing cancer therapy at the Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC) on the University of Saskatchewan (USask) campus.

Kali’s Wish is the only Canadian organization aimed at supporting pets and their owners after a pet cancer diagnosis and during treatment. Pet Planet, a Canadian pet store franchise, partnered with Kali’s Wish to seek donations in support of the charity. For every $8 donated to Kali’s Wish, Pet Planet contributes one KONG toy—a snowman-shaped toy with a hollow centre—to dogs fighting cancer. 

“Kali’s Wish provides the KONG toys because it’s a great way to help the animals. It’s just a great way to spread the love,” said Gillian Gratton, owner and operator of the Pet Planet location on Primrose Drive in Saskatoon. 

On Feb. 3, Gratton will deliver about 200 KONG toys to the veterinary oncology clinical service at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM). The veterinary oncology team will distribute the toys to their canine cancer patients over the coming year.

In the VMC’s veterinary oncology service, the team’s primary goal is maintaining a good quality of life for pets diagnosed with cancer, said Dr. Vivian Fan (DVM), WCVM veterinarian and medical oncology resident.

“The different specialties come together to work as a team to provide the best care possible,” said Fan, adding that sometimes the day can be long for canine patients as they await their treatments. “It can be a bit stressful for some pets when they’re at the clinic away from the owners, so it’s nice for them to have something to play with.”

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