'Scout's illness devastated us:' Dog treated for cancer by UW vets featured in Super Bowl ad

MADISON -- A dog named Scout being treated for cancer at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine will be featured in a Super Bowl ad on Sunday, Feb. 2.

According to WMTV, Scout is a golden retriever who also serves as the unofficial mascot for the company “WeatherTech," which makes automotive accessories like customized floor mats. They also manufacture home and pet care products.

Scout belongs to the company’s founder and CEO David MacNeil, WMTV reported.

“Scout’s illness devastated us,” MacNeil told WMTV. “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."

In summer 2019, an ultrasound found a tumor on Scout’s heart, according to WMTV. He was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer of his blood vessel walls. The prognosis was not good. Scout was given about a month to live.

Scout was eventually brought to UW, where chemotherapy and radiation began immediately. About a month later, Scout’s tumor had shrunk by about 78%. A little while later, that tumor was down 90%. Today, the tumor is pretty much gone.

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

WeatherTech decided to celebrate Scout’s new “leash” on life by putting him in a Super Bowl commercial alongside members of the UW team who helped him get better.

“This is an amazing opportunity not only for the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the School of Veterinary Medicine, but for veterinary medicine worldwide,” Mark Markel, dean of the School of Veterinary Medicine told WMTV. “So much of what’s known globally today about how best to diagnose and treat devastating diseases such as cancer originated in veterinary medicine. We’re thrilled to share with Super Bowl viewers how our profession benefits beloved animals like Scout and helps people, too.”

The ad opens with Scout running on the beach with a stick in his mouth. He is then seen getting medical care and some hugs from members of the UW staff. The commercial was filmed in Madison in December.

The 30-second ad will air during the second quarter of the big game on FOX6!