Shelter Staff Creates Bucket-List For Cancer-Stricken Homeless Dog

Dying homeless dog treated to bucket list

A dying dog, stricken with terminal skin cancer, is being treated to extra special activities by the people who love him. The dog, named “Vick,” doesn’t have a traditional family of his own, but he does have people who love him.

Vick has been with Arizona’s Maricopa County Animal Care and Control facility since last May. During his months at the shelter, his sweet personality has captured the heart of staff and volunteers. When he was given his dire cancer prognosis, Jose Santiago, the shelter’s public information officer, decided that a doggy bucket list was in order.

Santiago utilized Facebook to explain Vick’s plight, and to help secure ideas to help the beloved dog’s remaining time be the very best that it could be – he wrote:

This guy is not doing well. Time is NOT on his side. We want to make him even happier than he normally is since he doesn’t understand what’s happening. We want to help him with a “bucket list.” Maybe a ride on a fire truck. A steak on an outside patio of a restaurant. A doggie spa day. Maybe some of you all know of other “treats” before… Please if you can help make this guy’s time a good one message me and let me know. There is no need for a financial donation because it will not be necessary soon. We just want to make him a bit happier.

In short order, ideas and offers to help came pouring in. Among the special treats and experiences Vick will be enjoying are a day at a water park, doggy spa and a gift certificate which will enable him to enjoy a juicy steak on a patio.

Vick may not have a real home, but that doesn’t mean that he is alone – Santiago told Fox 10 Phoenix, “We want him to know that he’s not just another animal at the shelter, that he’s apart of the whole shelter family.”

Penny Eims

Penny is a freelance writer who provided content to her National Dog News column at for 8 years. She is a current contributor to Fido Friendly Magazine, as well as a newly formed website, Pet Rescue Report. Penny is married and she has two rescued German shepherds and two kids.


  1. Debbie (almost) vansevenant says:

    Vick you are truley a wonderful companion. I can tell by just looking at your picture. Thoes eyes just melt my heart. I pray that u get to do all the things these kind people have planned for you. There are not enough words i can say to these ppl about there kindness and loyalty to even compare. God bless all envolved..esp Vick. Take care buddy and enjoy your final time on earth. Xoxo

  2. TERRY FURLONG says:


  3. Joy Andrews says:

    Thank you for caring so much. Dear God please bless this sweet puppy with your love and protection. Please bless these caregivers who unselfishly love this shelter dog named Vick. I will pray that you will complete your bucket list dear sweet Vick. You will soon be able to fly with all the angels. Blessings to you all!!!

  4. JS says:

    I’m happy to fly to Arizona and spend a day just hugging and playing with this guy! I live in San Diego so very close— would hang out for the day and and just give him hugs and love. I think it is heartbreaking (and I know) to have a diagnosis which is a ticking time b*mb… happy to help 🙂

  5. Laura Lois says:

    You are kind and caring people. Thank you for all that you do and for giving Vick a wonderful life.

  6. Lynne says:

    God bless you because you care and you help those who need it the most and do not ask for it. I wish more followed your behavior.

  7. Nancy Salta says:

    I m in tears. What a wonder thing to do for this sweet baby. Even though he doesn’t have a lot of time, you guys love him so much. Giving him his bucket list is a great way for him to enjoy his little time before he passes the rainbow bridge. Enjoy that steak sweet guy!💕😭

  8. Robyn Grogan says:

    Thank you for all the wonderful things you are doing for this sweet boy! Lately we hear so many horrid stories about abuse, neglect, and euthanasing of perfectly heathy puppies and dogs that it is a breath of fresh air to hear how wonderful you are to Vick. And I am certain that you must be as wonderful to your charges awaiting a forever home. The water park will be great for him too AND the steak…..well there will be a great smile then too! Do you have a lake where he would be able to sit close and just stare at the lake and the sun either coming up or going down!? Or even a plateau that looks out over land? Again, thank you! 💖💗💞💕

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