Scout, a seven-year-old golden retriever, was diagnosed with cancer and given one month to live last July.
A dog owner was so thankful to a veterinary school for saving his beloved pet's life that he spent millions on a Super Bowl ad to show his gratitude.
David MacNeil's seven-year-old golden retriever, Scout, collapsed last July and was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and given one month to live after a tumor was found on his heart, according to WMTV. But MacNeil wasn't ready to accept that prognosis.
"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,'" recalled the founder and CEO of WeatherTech, an auto accessories company, which also manufactures home and pet care products.
MacNeil took Scout to the University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, where he underwent chemotherapy and radiation, with only a 1% chance of survival. Within 2 months, the tumor had shrunk to 90% of its original size, and today, Scout is relatively free of cancer.
This Sunday, MacNeil's appreciation -- to the tune of $6 million -- will find a global stage as his 30-second spot, called "Lucky Dog," is set to air during the second quarter of Super Bowl LIV.
The commercial chronicles Scout's journey from diagnosis to recovery, as it features the adorable pooch running on the beach before walking down the halls of the veterinary school at UW-Madison. At the end of the ad, viewers are encouraged to donate, with all the proceeds going to the school's medical research.
"This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide, said Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine at UW-Madison, in a statement. "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."
Having lost his last three dogs to cancer, the study, treatment and prevention of the disease are close to MacNeil's heart.
"Scout's illness devastated us. We wanted this year's Super Bowl effort to not only raise awareness, but also financial support for the incredible research and innovative treatments happening at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, where Scout is still a patient," MacNeil said in the statement.
He added, "We wanted to use the biggest stage possible to highlight Scout's story and these incredible breakthroughs, which are not just limited to helping dogs and pets. This research will help advance cancer treatments for humans as well, so there's the potential to save millions of lives of all species."