UW-Madison veterinary medicine patient, school to be featured in Super Bowl commercial

The ad is the first time UW-Madison will be in a Super Bowl commercial

MADISON, Wis. — For the first time, the University of Wisconsin-Madison is going to be featured in a Super Bowl commercial thanks to Scout, a 7-year-old golden retriever, and the School of Veterinary Medicine.

According to a release, the School of Veterinary Medicine started caring for Scout in July 2019. Scout will appear alongside members of the school’s faculty and staff who have been a part of Scout’s cancer treatment journey.

Scout is a member of the family of WeatherTech founder and CEO David MacNeil. WeatherTech paid for the 30-second commercial called “Lucky Dog.” It will air Sunday on FOX during the game’s second quarter.

The ad follows Scout’s journey as a cancer survivor and encourages viewers to donate to the school’s cancer efforts at weathertech.com.donate.

The release said cancer is the No. 1 cause of illness and death in the aging dog population. MacNeil has lost three dogs to cancer and with Scout also being impacted by cancer, the efforts to advance life-saving treatments is important to him.

“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. “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.”

Scout was diagnosed with hemangiosarcoma, an aggressive cancer of blood vessel walls, last summer. He was taken to UW Veterinary Care where he was stabilized and put on a cutting-edge treatment plan. A month after treatment started in mid-July, Scout’s heart tumor decreased by 78% and no, his heart tumor has all but disappeared.

“Scout is kind of the perfect patient in that he’s tolerated multiple modes of therapy very well, his primary tumor has responded beautifully to treatment, and we’ve been able to maintain his quality of life at a very high level,” said David Vail, professor of comparative oncology at the School of Veterinary Medicine. “At the end of the day, Scout’s quality of life is his family’s most important concern, as it is ours.”

Funds raised by the Super Bowl commercial will be used at the School of Veterinary Medicine to better diagnose, treat and prevent cancer and for the purchase of specialized equipment that will help clinicians and researchers identify new cancer-fighting drugs and treatments, the release said.

“Having the opportunity to use and apply this ‘one medicine’ approach more globally will allow us to aid veterinary patients while also helping humans with cancer. It’s a huge need that we are working to move forward and we are extremely grateful for the support,” said Vail.