Moose’s March

Marching to Mitigate Pet Cancer

Tricia Montgomery holding her canine Moose; vector illustration of Moose the pit bull
By Mary Tan
Photos provided by Moose’s March
On May 14th, 2022, Tricia Montgomery experienced the loss of Moose, her cherished canine companion of seven years. The beloved Pit bull had succumbed to cancer, which was a heartbreaking end to a journey that began with his adoption from PAWS Humane Society in Columbus, GA. Moose had accompanied Tricia to work every day during her time as the chief executive officer of PAWS, and his passing left a critical void that sent her into a deep depression.

“When Moose passed away from stage four Lymphoma, I threw everything into work, not skipping a beat,” Tricia shares. “The more I stayed busy the more I didn’t have to think about Moose’s death. I stayed out of my house, as I didn’t want to be surrounded by memories.”

In time, Tricia embraced her sorrow, transforming it into a force for change. And in the fall of 2023, she launched Moose’s March, a national nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about pet cancer. Through education and support, the organization aims to enlighten pet owners on the signs, risk factors, and the necessity of early detection and intervention to combat this fatal disease. With the help of supporters and donors, the organization has been able to provide early cancer detection tests to underserved communities that lack access to such resources.

headshot of Moose looking up at the camera while laying down
“Public knowledge on prevention and early detection is scarce and that’s why Moose’s March is so badly needed.”
– Tricia Montgomery, Founder of Moose’s March
“Every year, more than six million dogs and cats are diagnosed with cancer, and the ailment is the leading cause of death in dogs older than two years of age,” Tricia states. “Public knowledge on prevention and early detection is scarce and that’s why Moose’s March is so badly needed.”

This realization also spurred the pet cancer advocate to want to fill the educational void, supported by personal anecdotes and stories of other pet parents whose pets were inflicted with cancer.

“You might assume a veterinarian would recognize the signs of cancer in a dog,” Tricia says. “Sadly, for Brighton, the adopted dog of my friend Dr. Kathy Stone, there were none. If she had known a test for early cancer detection was available, perhaps she could have caught Brighton’s cancer earlier. Kathy was devastated by Brighton’s sudden passing. Too many people have similar stories.”

During her recent visit to VMX 2024, the need was further solidified in Tricia’s conversations with veterinarians, veterinary technicians and others supporting the industry. Different veterinary companies pledged to step up and distribute cancer detection tests to veterinary clinics serving animal shelters in underprivileged areas.

Coupled with the limited number of veterinary oncologists, the staggering statistics of pet cancer fatalities underscores the critical need for the nonprofit’s work. Tricia hopes to bridge the gap between the veterinary community and under-resourced communities.

“We need help from veterinarians to connect us with those who need our help most,” she states. “We want to help communities that are under-resourced and who have typically been ignored. We want to offer a lifeline for pets that will help improve the lives of pets and their owners in these areas.”

The swift and devastating loss of Moose, mere weeks post-diagnosis, highlights the cruel reality of pet cancer. Tricia’s mission through Moose’s March is to mitigate such swift losses by enabling pet owners to detect cancer early, providing them with support and extending the quality time they have with their pets. Through this endeavor, she seeks to honor Moose’s memory and ensure his legacy offers hope and life-saving opportunities for others.

For more information or to donate to Moose’s March, visit www.moosesmarch.com
Mary Tan headshot
Mary Tan is a freelance Minnesota pet writer and a former television journalist who worked in some of the country’s largest markets. A former hard news and crime reporter, she always preferred to write about animals. She is currently the chief storyteller and founder of Whisker Media, a pet strategic communications agency, whose mission is to help homeless animals. She is a cat mom to three rescued felines: Farley, Franklin and Fleur.