PetCo Love and Blue Buffalo offer lifeline for some LSU Vet Med pet cancer patients

May 21, 2024

Tassin family with Ree

Tassin Family with Ree Ree

Petco Love and Blue Buffalo have made it possible for LSU School of Veterinary Medicine to better even more lives with an additional lifesaving investment for cancer treatment for clients who otherwise would not be able to afford it for their pets.

A new $150,000 investment from national nonprofit Petco Love, in partnership with Blue Buffalo, supports client hardship cases for pet cancer patients at LSU Vet Med. The grant brings their total in cancer care support to $600,000 since 2019. The types of treatments pets receive include chemotherapy for dogs with cancers such as lymphoma, radiation therapy for dogs and cats with cancers, including nasal tumors, brain tumors, bladder cancer, sarcomas, and lifesaving surgeries for a variety of tumors.

“These funds have allowed us to save many lives. Life-saving treatments can be expensive, and this investment is a game changer for clients faced with difficult decisions for their sick pets,” said Jayme Looper, professor of veterinary radiation oncology.

One such case is Marie "Ree Ree" Elizabeth, a beloved Great Dane who had transitional cell carcinoma in her urethra and bladder neck. Ree Ree was seen by Dr. Yen-Hao Lai, radiation oncology resident, the next day. “It’s not curable, but it can be managed,” he told Marie’s pet parent, Brittany. The Oncology clinical team worked up a plan that Brittany agreed to with the goal of extending Ree Ree’s life.

During the third week of radiation, she collapsed. Dr. Lai ran tests and consulted other LSU Vet Med services, and diagnosed Ree Ree with a twisted spleen, which can be fatal without surgery. Dr. Lai asked an LSU Vet Med surgeon to call Brittany immediately.

“I asked, ‘How much?’ I couldn’t afford it. My heart was breaking. I would have to give up on my best friend because I couldn’t do it,” Brittany said.

“What if I told you that there’s a fund to help you? It pays for cancer-related costs. It won’t pay for spleen surgery, but it could help cover the costs associated with her cancer treatment,” Dr. Lai told Brittany.

“It was a relief and a turning point. Ree Ree is doing well now,” said Brittany, who periodically brings her beloved dog to LSU Vet Med Oncology for checkups.

Petco Love and Blue Buffalo continue to support pet parents by helping with the cost of pet cancer treatment, investing in the top veterinarian oncology universities for pet cancer treatment funds. Since 2010, Petco Love and Blue Buffalo have invested more than $20 million in the fight against pet cancer.

LSU Vet Med’s Cancer Treatment Unit, founded in 1998, offers a variety of treatment options tailored to pets’ individual needs. The unit offers two major services: medical oncology and radiation oncology.

Anyone can also join the fight against pet cancer with Petco Love and help improve access to pet cancer treatment for pets and their families by donating at For further information about the LSU Vet Med Cancer Treatment Unit and applying for funding, visit our Oncology Service webpage or email

About LSU Vet Med: Bettering lives through education, public service, and discovery

The LSU School of Veterinary Medicine is one of only 33 veterinary schools in the U.S. and the only one in Louisiana. LSU Vet Med is dedicated to improving and protecting the lives of animals and people through superior education, transformational research, and compassionate care. We teach. We heal. We discover. We protect.