PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Animal advocate Luke Robinson and his pair of great Pyrenees are on a cross-country mission.

His non-profit “2 Million Dogs” foundation is sponsoring 40 so-called “Puppy Up” walks, to spread awareness of cancer’s effect on our pets, and ourselves.  His tour brought him to Market Square on Wednesday, for the first in a series of Pittsburgh area events.

The Texas man’s beloved dog Malcolm inspired his own 2,300-mile walk from Austin to Boston in 2010.

“It really was walking from town to town,” he says, and sharing Malcolm’s story, “and telling people, look, you know, our canine counterparts, our companions get cancer too.”

He says one of the two dogs who accompanied him was later claimed by cancer.

“After I lost Murphy, it inspired another cross country journey, this time by vehicle, not by foot,” he said. “And we’re on the ‘Summer of Murphy Tour.’  It’s a 25 city, cross-country tour.”

The “2 Million Dogs” foundation raises funds for comparative oncology, research into the causes of cancers not only in pets, but people.

“Why are they getting the same kind of cancer that we’re getting?” Robinson asks.  “It doesn’t make sense.  So the environment must play a big role in cancer, cross species. We’re all affected by it.  We’re all touched by it.  And 2 million dogs wants to know why.”

The next “Puppy Up” walk is Sunday, in Monessen.

For related events in the Pittsburgh area, log on to www.summerofmurphy.org

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