Combating canine cancer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Combating canine cancer

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Ask most dog owners and they'll tell you that they can't imagine life without their pet. But, more and more often they're faced with the news that their beloved pet has cancer.

In fact, one in three dogs is diagnosed with cancer according to the National Canine Cancer Foundation. The cost of treatment for them averages between $3-6,000.

Gracie is a cancer survivor, says her mom, Alicia Butson.

Not long ago, Tina and Ron Hatin didn't even know Gracie.

"She's so sweet, she so reminds me of our Emma!" they said.

Emma is another yellow lab, the one who stole the Hatin's hearts when she was a puppy.

"We were heartbroken," they said.

At 10 years old Emma was diagnosed with bone cancer. That was a life changing moment which lead to another one in a waiting room at a vets office, and a man sitting next to Ron.

"He looked over at me and said, 'I don't know what im going to do with my wife,'" Ron says. "I said, excuse me?' He said, 'She's not taking her chemotherapy to pay for the treatment of our dog, our dog has cancer' and it just hit me like a rock."

That conversation lead them to create Emma's Foundation, six months after she passed away.

Which brings us back to Gracie.

"We started to see a growth on her jaw," says Butson.

The biopsy came back that is was cancer. They had it scaled back and some teeth removed.

"It came back, very, very agressively," she says.

Alicia says, the tumor was the size of a golf ball and part of Gracie's jaw had to be amputated last December.

"She's ten years old now and a cancer survivor thanks to Emma's Foundation," says Butson. "I can't even begin to put that into words. I'm so appreciative every day of what we're able to do."

Her amazing Grace who survived because of another family's love for their Emma.

Dog owners apply to get help from Emma's Foundation and it is based on financial need and also prognosis.

There is a fundraiser Saturday, October 19, 2013 in Burlington called the "Dogtober Festival." For more information, you can visit their website: http://emmasfoundationforcaninecancer.org/.

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