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Super Bowl Ad Thanks Veterinarians Who Saved Dog's Life


A lot of people watch the Super Bowl for reasons that have nothing to do with football. They are watching for the commercials.


Oh, yeah.

KING: You might be waiting for one of those Budweiser ads with the horses or another bizarre Geico commercial. But this Sunday, you will also see a golden retriever named Scout running along the beach and being treated at the vet.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Scout) I'm alive thanks to a cutting-edge program at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine. Their research has the potential to save...

DAVID MACNEIL: Back in July, Scout collapsed. They found a tumor on his heart.

KING: That is Scout's owner David MacNeil.

INSKEEP: MacNeil and his family took scout to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School, and the retriever was given one month to live.

DAVID VAIL: Today the tumor is virtually just about gone.

INSKEEP: Wow. David Vail is part of the team of doctors who treated Scout.

VAIL: Scout was really the perfect patient. He's an amazing dog. He's very trusting. He's a very social animal.

INSKEEP: Now Scout is still getting radiation for his lungs but is living a good life.

VAIL: Swims in the ocean, runs on beaches.

KING: MacNeil is the CEO of WeatherTech, a company that sells car accessories. And WeatherTech has paid the seven-figure ad rate to buy Super Bowl commercial time over the past few years, but this year was different.

MACNEIL: The more I studied canine cancer, the more I found out about it and the more I felt that I could do more.

KING: So he spent $6 million on a commercial not for his business but in order to raise money for the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (As Scout) Pets make a difference in your life. You can make a difference in theirs. Donate now.

INSKEEP: Those donations, we're told, will go to cancer research for canines and for people.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE BLACK KEYS' "MEET ME IN THE CITY") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.