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Petland Owners Give 7-year-old New Best Friend

Orlando child fighting rare life-threatening brain tumor

(Orlando, FL, March 7, 2017) – In a few short weeks, the Vasquez family’s life has turned upside down. In February, Midy and Ricardo’s 7-year-old son, Alan, was diagnosed with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG). DIPG is a rare brain tumor that is highly aggressive and very difficult to treat.

When Petland Orlando East co-owner Ben Hoofnagle heard through the grapevine that Alan really wanted a puppy, Ben reached out and invited the family to his store.

On March 1st, the Vasquez family visited the Petland store in Waterford Lakes.

“We showed him a Yorkie-Poo that has the sweetest disposition and the two of them bonded instantly,” said Hoofnagle.

Petland also set Alan and his new best friend “Junior” with supplies, as well as training. The store’s consulting veterinarian, Dr. Mole, is providing a year’s worth of free veterinary care.

“Thank you Petland Waterford for making today one of Alan's happiest days,” said Ricardo.

The family continues to search for answers and alternative treatments and is grateful for the support they have found in family, friends and co-workers.

“Some of my coworkers have donated part of their vacation time and personal time so that I can stay at home with Alan. I am so thankful I work with such caring people,” Midy said. “They have also donated, raised and are still raising money to help with his treatment as we may seek other options outside of the U. S. We’re not going to settle for 0% survival rate.”

Alan was diagnosed February 17 at Nemours Children’s Hospital and has since been getting checkups at the Arnold Palmer Hospital. His aunt has set up a GoFundMe Account at https://www.gofundme.com/alans-dipg-medical-journey.


Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with quality, full service retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and El Salvador. For more than 49 years, Petland Pet Counselors have been dedicated to matching the right pet with the right person and meeting the needs of both. To its customers who already have pets, Petland is dedicated to enhancing their knowledge and enjoyment of the human-animal bond. Petland was founded in 1967 and is headquartered in south central Ohio. For more information on Petland, visit www.petland.com.