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Holly: From Homeless To Healer

Moffitt Cancer Center
The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

When Kelly Pavone adopted Holly, she knew that the golden retriever found “dirty, hungry and alone” wandering the streets of Titusville would make a wonderful therapy dog. 

For three years, Pavone and Holly were regulars at Tampa’s Moffitt Cancer Center, where Holly helped calm nerves and aleve stress, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

But her role changed in June, when Holly was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer and she tried an experimental cancer treatment. The retriever lost her fight with cancer last week, but researchers say her treatments may someday help the human cancer patients she loved to comfort.


Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.