A dog owner forked over a lot of bones to celebrate his Golden Retriever’s new lease on life and thank the people who helped save his best friend.
After David MacNeil, CEO of vehicle accessory company WeatherTech, found out his dog Scout was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 2019, he wasn’t ready to say goodbye.
“There he was in this little room, standing in the corner… and he’s wagging his tail at me. I’m like ‘I’m not putting that dog down. There’s just absolutely no way,’” he told WMTV.
But Scout’s prognosis wasn’t good. The tumor was on his heart and the Golden Retriever was given a 1 percent chance of survival. Still, MacNeil wasn’t going down without a fight.
He took Scout to the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine where he underwent chemotherapy and radiation. In a few months, thanks to cutting-edge technology, the tumor had shrunk by 78 percent; today, it is nearly gone.
After the close call, MacNeil decided to celebrate his life. Rather than donate to the school, he wanted to make a bigger splash to draw more attention to cancer in dogs. So, he decided to fork over $6 million on a Super Bowl ad, sharing how Scout was saved thanks to the veterinarian team at the University of Wisconsin.
The ad begins with Scout on the beach, with a stick in his mouth and a voiceover explaining why he is a lucky dog. It ends with the Golden Retriever getting a hug from the veterinarian team and the message, “Pets make a difference in your life, you can make a difference in theirs.”
He not only wants to shed light on cancer in dogs (currently the no. 1 cause of death in older dogs), but also encourage people to donate to the school.
“This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide,” Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine, told the outlet. “So much of what’s known globally today about how best to diagnose and treat devastating diseases such as cancer originated in veterinary medicine. We’re thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits beloved animals like Scout and helps people, too.”