More Than 500K Pet Parents Respond to Sick Teen’s Dog Photo Request

anthony lyons photo doggiesWhile 16-year-old Anthony Lyons undergoes chemotherapy in the Phoenix Children’s Hospital, he has just one request: for pet parents to post pictures of their pups on the Photo Doggies for Anthony Facebook event page.

More than 500,000 people from around the world have been glad to oblige. (Unfortunately, those photos have been removed because “one person decided to bring his negativity upon a great thing,” Lyons wrote on the Facebook page this morning. He is still asking for more photos.)

Lyons, who has three dogs at home, is being treated for lymphoblastic leukemia and must check into the hospital once each month.

Until now, the only thing that cheered him up was visits from the hospital’s therapy dogs.

“It really helps, the pet therapy,” Lyons told “I can be in here having a really bad day, and then one of the dogs will show up and it will be the highlight of the day.”

But the therapy dogs only visit one day a week, so Roberta Lucero-Koron, a friend of Lyons’ mom, set up the Facebook page last week. It was an immediate success.

“This has gotten so viral. One thing I have to say is, make yourself smile too by looking at these beautiful animals that God gave us,” Lucero-Koron told USA TODAY. “I can’t stop crying from tears of happiness.”

dog pictures for anthonyLyons is expected to recover, although the cancer treatments will go on for three more years.

“I hope I can continue to see all the pictures of your dogs,” he wrote on Facebook this morning. “No matter what, they make me happy and I try and look at every single one of them!”

You can post a picture of your pooch for Anthony on Facebook. He is also featuring some of the dog photos on Instagram (like Ruby, right, the “happiest lookin’ dog I’ve seen all day”).

Photos via Instagram

Laura Goldman

I am a freelance writer and lifelong dog lover. For five years, I was a staff writer for i Love Dogs. When that site shut down, I started this blog...because I STILL Love Dogs!