Charger beat cancer, and now his legacy lives on...
Please click here for his Facebook Tribute

Together we have raised over $370,000 to fight canine cancers!
With an Agility Club? Join the "Agility Takes Charge Against Cancer" pledge drive.
The 5th Annual GRCI Sporting Dog Agility Classic raised over $24,000!

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December 13, 2002 - October 19, 2015

Dogs, like people, get cancer. Each year, over six million dogs are diagnosed with cancer. In 2010, our Charger was a healthy seven year old Golden Retriever, actively competing in agility, but in May, we noticed a small bump on his muzzle; that little bump was unfortunately diagnosed as a Stage 2 Mast Cell tumor.

We looked to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Care clinic for help. Imagine the shock when the oncologist said that even with successful chemotherapy, Charger had 6-7 months to live. How could this happy, healthy dog be gone by December???

As luck would have it, the oncology department was conducting a clinical trial studying the efficacy of the simultaneous use of two chemotherapy drugs on Mast Cell tumors. Charger was immediately enrolled in the study.

Six months later, Charger was in remission, once again competing at an agility trial. And it was at that December trial during the morning briefing, that Charge Against Cancer was founded.

Charge Against Cancer is a canine cancer research fund at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. The fund is managed by the UW Foundation and covered under their 501(c)(3) status. 100% of your tax deductible donation goes directly to research. Our goal will not be met until we find a cure for all forms of canine cancer.

Charger's cancer returned two more times, but each time, chemotherapies were able to get him back into remission. He continued to fight and live a pampered life, as any dog should.

In 2014, Charger was the only dog still alive from that initial clinical trial. Charger's battle with cancer was featured in On Call, the veterinary school's newsletter.

Support for Charge Against Cancer has grown nationally as donations have come in from across the country. Answers must be found. Although cancer is often thought to be an "old dog" disease, more and more dogs are diagnosed with cancer who are younger than 4 years of age. Research is the key to diagnosing, treating, and beating cancer!

At one of Charger's last check ups, I met a woman whose dog was battling lymphoma. He too was enrolled in a clinical trial where half of the dogs enrolled had died. She questioned whether or not she should continue with his treatment. My advise to her - just because the treatment wasn't working for the other dogs, didn't mean yours wouldn't be the one dog that it helps. It was 5 1/2 years, 70+ appointments, and over 9500 miles traveled, but Charger was living proof that it only takes one to make a difference.

The knowledge gained from clinical trials is how Charger beat cancer not once, not twice, but three times. Charger died in my arms October 19, 2015, but he DID NOT DIE FROM CANCER!

A necropsy was performed. Through a bizarre twist of fate, at some time in his life, Charger had inhaled something that lodged in his lung. His body encapsulated it, creating enough scar tissue to wear against his aorta... Charger died from a tear in his aorta. No cancer was found; none of his organs compromised from the three rounds of various chemotherapies given over the 5 years.

If you would like to help in the fight against canine cancer, please follow the steps listed below:

1. To donate, click on either the Charge Against Cancer box that is pictured below, or the School of Veterinary Medicine logo to the right.
You will be redirected to the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

2. Once you are at the UWF page, type the word charge in the box labeled "Find Your Cause". The Charge Against Cancer fund is the first fund listed. Click on the box.

3. Enter the dollar amount of your donation; then click on "Add and Complete Checkout".

3. Complete the Gift Options section, followed by Donor Information, Mailing Address, and Payment.

4. Review and submit your donation!

In approximately 2-3 weeks you will receive a receipt from
the UW Foundation.

The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine is among the nation's top veterinary schools in the country. The Oncology Service at UW Veterinary Care is world-renowned for making clinical advances in the medical treatments of dogs and cats with cancer.

Charge Against Cancer funds the ideas, the initial clinical trials that can eventually lead to national canine cancer studies (such as the canine cancer vaccine trial).
No donation is too small and every dollar can make a difference!

Your donations to the
Charge Against Cancer Fund

- Research for cancer treatments;

- Cancer therapy clinical trials;

- Advanced diagnostics and equipment for treating cancer;

- Canine oncology education

- Comparative Oncology: an evolving field of research, which enables researchers from human and veterinary medicine to explore new cancer therapies. Because dogs and people share the same environment, have similar immune systems, and share 92% of the same genes, canine cancers often resemble human cancers. Human cancer treatments have been successfully modified to treat canine cancers, and vice versa.


Won't you please consider donating to help us eliminate canine cancer?


UW VETERINARY CARE updated 1/23/2024

* Repurposing Vaccine Immunity to Treat Cancers

* Combination Radiation & Immunotherapy for Advanced Cancer

* Dogs with Oral Melanoma

* Dogs with Malignant Melanoma

* Visbiome vs Metronidazole for Diarrhea in Dogs with Lymphoma in CHOP

* Dogs with Histologically Confirmed High-Grade Lymphoma or Non-Sarcomatous Solid Tumors

* Dogs with Lymphoma/Verdinexor

* Lymphoma in Boxer Dogs

* Melanoma without Metastasis: Evaluation of a Novel Immunotherapy in Combination with Radiation Therapy in Dogs

* Vaccination Against Canine Cancer Study


For information on any of the above studies, please click here.



Canine Cancer Information
Information provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA)

  More than 6 million dogs are diagnosed with cancer each year 
  Cancer is the number 1 cause of death in dogs over 2 years old
  Cancer is the cause of nearly 50% of the deaths of older dogs (10 yrs & up)

Early detection is vital. You should routinely examine your dog for any physical or behavioral abnormalities.

Common Warning Signs of Cancer in Pets
(UW Veterinary Care)

1. Masses, especially those that grow quickly, feel firm, or are changing in appearance (becoming bruised or ulcerated)

2. Persistent vomiting

3. Diarrhea

4. Dramatic weight change

5. Sudden lameness or swelling of the leg

6. Blood coming from the mouth or nose, especially if accompanied by a foul odor

7. Swelling of the abdomen, especially if accompanied by decreased energy or pale gums

8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina

9. Major changes in appetite and energy beyond normal age-related changes

10. Difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecating


Happy 12th Birthday Charger! And what a face!
This was Charger four months after completing
radiation treatments.




Please click on this logo to donate.
Your donation is tax deductible!
(Direct link to the UW Foundation donation page)

Contact Us


Charge Against Cancer is a project of AgilGold Retrievers, Burlington, Wisconsin

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