INDIANAPOLIS — The Veterinary Cancer Society estimates 1 in 4 dogs will develop cancer at some point, and almost 50% of dogs over age 10 will develop cancer. An estimated 6 million dogs and nearly 6 million cats will be diagnosed with cancer this year.

Sam McAfee and her friends knew that something needed to be done about these statistics. So, Sam started Fur The Brand in 2020, a non-profit to help support families with pets affected with cancer.

“Fur The Brand was started because my dog Valeria Anne developed canine cancer and I had not known anything about it, it was very new to me,” said McAfee.

“Going through everything we had to go through, I wanted to do something about it.”

So, on her own honeymoon, Sam called up her best friend Noelle Norwood, Director of Marketing and Development for Fur The Brand, and asked her to quit her job and start the non-profit together.

“It was a no-brainer for me,” said Norwood. “I wanted to be able to help her figure out exactly what she wanted to do and just kind of see her vision through.”

Since Fur The Brand was first founded, Sam and her team have been able to help roughly 55-60 families with pets that have been affected and afflicted with canine cancer.

There’s an application process to be eligible for financial vet assistance through Fur The Brand, however, they do not discriminate based on each families financial need, they really will accept anyone and everyone.

“When we’re looking at who gets help we look at the dog’s prognosis, age, symptoms that they’re having right now,” said Norwood. “Talking to the vet can really help where our donor money can make the most impact.”

Fur The Brand does a few small events throughout the year however, they are most excited for their upcoming first big event, “Poochella”.

Poochella is being held August 27 at White River State Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. It’s for families and dogs of all ages. Come hang out, grab some food, listen to some music, play games, and of course, pet the pups!

All of the money raised from Poochella will go to supporting Fur The Brand and future canines with cancer.

For more information on Fur The Brand and Poochella, you can visit their website here.