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People, pets to participate in fun run

Published: Friday, November 9, 2012

Updated: Friday, November 9, 2012 00:11

Aggies have another chance to take their furry companions to campus and participate in the festivities at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

The College of Veterinary Medicine is presenting the second Paws to the Pavement 3k/5k Fun Run at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10.

The fun run will give participants and their pets a chance to get some exercise around campus and see what the Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center at Texas A&M has to offer.

“We’ll have a 5k and a 3k walk-run for people and pets and we’ll have tours again of the diagnostic imaging and cancer treatment center,” said Guy Sheppard, director of development at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “We want to cause attention again to our center and show it off to people who have not had a chance to see it last year.”

The inaugural fun run in 2011 was held in conjunction with the grand-opening of the Diagnostic Imaging and Cancer Treatment Center. Texas A&M has a state-of-the-art facility that was created to care for animals of all sizes.

“We feel like we’re the best veterinary school in the country,” Sheppard said. “The best veterinary school in the country should have the best equipment, the best facilities and the best technology available. So our department head, our administration and faculty made the decision that that was worth investing in.”

The costs of running the center are high, so all of the proceeds from the pet-friendly fun run go toward funding the center.

“We’re using these units multiple times every day for small animals such as dogs and cats, but also for horses and some research animals,” Sheppard said. “We have a number of costs involved in operating that equipment, so this money will be used to help.”

Some specific costs for the center are to support cancer research and care of animals at the center. Although the research is for cancer treatment in animals, people can also benefit.

“We have clinics that are looking at cancer in animals,” said Angela Clendenin, director of public relations at the College of Veterinary Medicine. “Some of these cancers that they find are very similar to treating cancer found in humans, so they lead to treatment in humans as well.”

During its first year, the center has been able to come to the rescue for animals with cancer and animals that experience serious injuries.

Thanks to the help of the center, Reno, a three-month-old colt, was able to recover from a massive head trauma.

“We had this large interdisciplinary team from zoology, radiology and orthopedics from soft-tissue surgery who were able to use the imaging equipment in there to figure out how severely his skull was fractured,” Clendenin said. “They were able to take him into surgery and save him.”

Many of the faculty members at the veterinary college and those who work are the center will be in attendance at the fun run and have a chance to mingle with participants.

“Some of them will be there as hosts, tour guides and observers,” Sheppard said. “But many of them like to register and bring their pets to participate.”

Last year, members of the Pre-Vet Society at A&M helped with the event as well.

“I thought it was a great opportunity,” said Edward Vasquez, graduate animal science major and president of the pre-vet society. “I feel like it’s one of the original [fun runs] out there. I think anyone who wants to raise awareness of cancer or wants to try to help the cause should definitely get involved with this.”

Clendenin said she appreciates everyone’s interest in participation.

“You don’t have to have a pet to enter, but you’re certainly welcome to bring one if you do,” Clendenin said. “This is a fun event for people who love animals and want to help animals because in the end that’s what this center does.”


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