The Detroit News
SMALL TALK WITH
Rock stars aren’t typically known for having a soft spot for pets. But when Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander had a chance to raise money for dogs with cancer, he was in. “I have two dogs with me on the road,” said the singer, who performed Thursday with Aerosmith at The Palace of Auburn Hills. He has a French bulldog, Buddha, and a bichon frise, Daisy.
The former Midwest resident is speaking up for the 12 Million Dog March, which aims to raise awareness about animal cancer, boost prevention efforts and help fund treatment for pet owners who cannot afford it.
The campaign is presented by the Riedel & Cody Fund, a Connecticut-based nonprofit, with help from Blue Buffalo Co. and sponsored by Petco.
The initiative, which plans live events in Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta, has a virtual “march” that allows supporters to show their pets’ photos in solidarity.
For every person who signs up online for the virtual march, a dollar will be donated to the fund for pet cancer treatments, according to its website.
Also a solo artist, Zander re-recorded and dedicated one of his songs, “Every Dog Has Its Day,” to the efforts. It can be downloaded, with donations going to the fund.
Zander spoke with The News about the cancer-fighting drive. How did you get involved? I was in Atlanta (Mark Tillinger, who co-founded the Riedel & Cody Fund) was sitting next to me. … He started talking to me about different things that happened in his life, an organization that he put together. … It was an inspiring story. It really tugged at my heartstrings. This guy really gave up everything to fight this disease. How do you hope the effort helps? We’re hoping that we’ll … raise enough money to make an impact to get these animals cured or at least help families deal with the cost and emotional stress.
What did it mean to you to help spread the word about pet cancer?
It’s very important. This is about cancer — we have to come up with a cure. … My father died of cancer. It’s personal to me. I have to do something about it. Twelve million dogs and cats (diagnosed with cancer each year) are too many.