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Washington Dog Agility Club Exceeds Fundraising Expectations for Foundation

By Kelley Weir

Agility trials, where dogs and their owners speed across a course full of obstacles, are a ton of fun to watch. People and dogs with the same interests can mingle and socialize—and in the case of Rainier Agility Team’s annual Sweetheart Agility Trial, they can also raise a few bucks for a good cause: canine cancer research.

The Seattle-based dog agility club contacted Susan Kohut, development manager for Morris Animal Foundation, earlier this year and asked for fundraising ideas they could put to work to raise money for the Foundation. Each year the club’s trial secretary, Nancy Stephenson, chooses the beneficiary for their Sweetheart Agility Trial, and the Foundation was lucky enough to be selected.

Nancy explained that recently a very special group of Rainier Agility Team dogs had died of cancer, including her “heart dog,” James, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma last July.

James’s front left leg was amputated on August 4, and he went through five sessions of chemotherapy before his death on December 18. During this time Nancy became more acutely aware of the high percentage of dogs who confront cancer. She joined, an online community that supports people whose dogs are facing leg amputation and canine cancer. Members of formed teams to walk, either in person or virtually, in the first Morris Animal Foundation K9 Cancer Walk in Los Gatos, California, last October. 

After learning that half of all dogs will face cancer in their lives, and that one in four will die of cancer, Nancy and fellow club member Dixie Lampers wanted to find out how Rainer Agility Team could support the Canine Cancer Campaign on behalf of their beloved canine companions. They chose the Foundation as the beneficiary because our Canine Cancer Campaign supports research into new treatments for canine cancer and is helping to develop prevention strategies. Exhibitors at the Sweetheart Agility Trial and club members responded passionately to the Canine Cancer Campaign and generously opened their hearts and wallets.

When all was said and done, the Rainier Agility Team far surpassed their modest fundraising goal of $1,000 and raised more than $5,000.

“Isn’t it amazing what a handful of driven volunteers can accomplish?” Susan said.

Morris Animal Foundation couldn’t advance the health and welfare of animals without the support of animal lovers like the Rainier Agility Team. They prove that small efforts in conjunction with existing events can make a big impact on the health and well-being of the animals we love.

Here are some additional ways you can have fun while supporting animal health:

  • Hold a silent auction: work with local groomers, pet walkers, liquor stores, artists and others to secure auction items
           º  Raffle one of the best items donated 
           º  Have a guess the number of dog biscuits in a jar game for $2 a guess
  • Have a pet-friendly garage sale
  • Organize a neighborhood pet parade
  • Host a movie night and watch your favorite animal movies
  • Bake some goodies and hold a bake sale
  • Host a car wash or dog wash

For more information on the Rainier Agility Team, visit For more information on how you can help raise funds for Morris Animal Foundation, click here.

Posted by on April 12, 2011.

Categories: Canine cancer , Dog health


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Submitted by Anonymous at: April 21, 2011
To the Rainier Agility Team’s annual Sweetheart Agility Trial: look into vaccine induced fibrosarcoma. Specifically puppy shots also. I believe the vaccine was from Farnam, although I believe the veterinarian knew or could have done it also. Sorry very much you lost them.