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All Pets With Cancer in U.S. Provided Free Consultation
Date:11/14/2007

With half of dogs and cats over age 10 dying of cancer, Dr. Jack Stephens and Pets Best Insurance step up and provide free oncology consultations

with a cancer specialist for any pet.

BOISE, Idaho, Nov. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- When Jack Stephens, DVM, founder and president of Pets Best Insurance, was diagnosed with throat cancer, he received emotional support from his small dog, Spanky. Recognizing that cancer now claims the lives of one in every two dogs and cats who are 10 years or older, this cancer survivor set out to find a way to assist companion animals diagnosed with this disease.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071114/LAW125)

Effective immediately, all pets diagnosed with cancer in the United States are eligible for a free cancer consultation from Oncura Partners, a national pet cancer specialty firm with the costs underwritten by Pets Best Insurance. Pet families are not required to have a policy with Pets Best Insurance, but their consultation request must come from their veterinarian.

Veterinarians are embracing this news, including Alice Villalobos, DVM, a pioneer in pet cancer medicine and author of Canine & Feline Geriatric Oncology: Honoring the Human-Animal Bond. "The bonds that clients have developed with their older pets are especially strong and drive the increasing demand for more proficient and highly compassionate medical treatment of companion animals diagnosed with cancer," says Dr. Villalobos, who operates the Pawspice Care Clinic in Hermosa Beach, Calif. and the Animal Oncology Consultation Service in Woodland Hills, Calif. Dr. Villalobos continued, "we applaud this important effort by Pets Best and Oncura Partners. Making treatments for cancer more accessible will certainly save a great deal of grief for many pet families and extend the lives of many, many pets."

Pets Best Insurance recognizes that the key to successful cancer treatment is an early diagnosis and effective treatment regime. Sadly, qualified cancer specialists are not always available locally. This may cause pet owners and their local veterinarians to not seek specialized treatment. Or, the costs may be high and the travel time for treatments may be prohibitive for some pet owners.

With this new initiative, local veterinarians are encouraged to visit the Pets Best web site and click on a special web site created by Pets Best, or go directly to http://www.petcancerfoundation.org to obtain the free initial consultation from a board-certified veterinary oncologist who will identify what treatments are the most effective for each specific cancer. Although the Pet Cancer Foundation web site is for pet owners, the consultation can only be provided to a licensed veterinarian. The web site, however, does provide information on cancer in pets for consumers.

"All too often, cancer treatments for pets do not happen because of the hassle of taking your pet elsewhere, sometimes requiring driving long distances for specialized treatments that may be needed weekly or even more often," says Dr. Villalobos. "Or people have to hospitalize their pets far from home for weeks or months."

"Now with this process, many cancer treatments can be successfully implemented, monitored and adapted by a person's own veterinarian with the benefit of a cancer specialist assisting in every step," she adds.

In the broader perspective, this initiative was created to keep pets living longer, healthier lives and enable them to bring joy to their families. "And that is our mission at Pets Best," stated Dr. Stephens. "We strive to provide the reimbursement for the best pet care possible."

This effort by Dr. Jack Stephens and Pets Best Insurance is in addition to the pledge of $1 million to the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) canine cancer cure campaign made in July of this year. Dr. Jack Stephens and Pets Best Insurance have been honored and recognized by MAF as a "Canine Cancer Campaign SuperHero's," joining Pfizer Animal Health as the second $1 million contributor to the campaign.

About Pets Best Insurance: Pets Best Insurance reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinarian they choose, with no schedules or fee restrictions, truly establishing it as "Pet insurance that really pays!" Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, the pioneer of American pet insurance with over 25 years in the pet insurance industry. Dr. Stephens is also an accomplished veterinarian and avid pet enthusiast. Pets Best includes a choice of three affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and no benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Visit Pets Best Insurance at http://www.petsbest.com or phone Pets Best Insurance at 877-PetsBest (738-7237). Pets Best, Simply the Best Pet Insurance.

About Oncura Partners: Oncura Partners provides comprehensive cancer care for companion animals through our partnership with board-certified oncology professionals and the use of online tools and veterinary facilities, nationwide. We offer these resources to help improve your patients' quality of life using advanced techniques to treat cancer, while supporting the business of veterinary oncology. Learn more by visiting its web site at http://www.oncurapartners.com or call toll-free at 866-233-9100

About MAF: Morris Animal Foundation, established in 1948, is dedicated to funding research that protects, treats and cures companion animals and wildlife. MAF has been at the forefront of funding breakthrough research studies benefiting animals in some 100 countries, spanning all seven continents on earth. MAF has its headquarters in Denver, Colorado. The Foundation has funded more than 1,300 humane animal health studies with funds approaching $50 million. One hundred percent of all annual, unrestricted contributions support animal health studies, not administration or the cost of fund raising. For more information, call (800) 243-2345, or visit http://www.MorrisAnimalFoundation.org.


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SOURCE Pets Best Insurance
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