Tobacco Free Partnership of Marion County Supports Protecting Pets at PAWS Ice Cream Social
February 20, 2021

The PAWS Ice Cream Social at Letty Towles Dog Park is an annual event that benefits the Humane Society of Marion County by partnering up with the neighborhood ice cream shop, Twistee Treat to offer a free event where owners and their furry friends can enjoy free ice cream treats and venders.

This year’s event was visited by approximately 100 patrons and 50 pets, with a few lucky animals finding new owners and a new home. For the first time, the event was tobacco free with signage stating “no smoking, no vaping, no dipping” at the entrance, through the walking path, and near the dog playground. Visitors, on two legs and on four were able to enjoy the clean air while participating the perks of the festivities.

Pets are more than just precious furry bundles of joy, they are our devoted friends. They entrust us with their lives and rely on their owners to provide them a safe place to live, play and thrive.

Some owners may not realize, but second-hand smoke affects pets negatively just as it does people. Not only cats and dog, but birds too. All pet types are at a greater risk for respiratory conditions from second hand smoke, but birds are especially, as they are extremely sensitive to airborne pollutants.

Cats can develop lung cancer and lymphoma from second hand smoke, or mouth cancer. They spend a large portion of their day cleaning their fur by grooming it with their tongue. If their hair has particles from tobacco or nicotine covering it, then those carcinogenic, or cancer causing, particles are transferred to their mouth which can result in the development of mouth tumors. This collection of particles that ends up on the cat’s fur is referred to as third hand smoke. It can be easily recognized in the home of a tobacco user by removing a picture from the wall revealing an orange aura surrounding the space where the picture was hung with a cleaner area underneath, or in a car that has the appearance of a dark patch on the headliner on the driver’s side.


The third hand smoke carries deadly carcinogens that contribute to cellular mutations or tumors in the mouth of cats, or in the noses of dogs. Dogs use rely on their nose in a similar way that we rely on our eye sight or touch. They use their sense of small to assist in pleasure, safety, identification, and nourishment discovery. Because a dog uses this sense far more than we do, it also makes them more susceptible to nasal cancer and lung cancer through both second-hand smoke and third hand smoke. In an environment with tobacco or nicotine exposure, a long-nosed dog, like a Doberman, has a greater surface area in the nasal passage and is at greater risk for nasal tumors while a short-nosed dog like a Pug is more likely to develop lung cancer.


“When you smoke, it’s like they’re smoking,” but they do not have the choice to quit. Help protect your pets by making a plan to quit if you are using tobacco or nicotine, or help someone else’s pet by supporting a decision to quit. Smoking outside and in the car can still bring in dangerous carcinogens through third hand smoke, and pets are extremely sensitive to this type of exposure. offers free quit resources and nicotine replacement therapies. Support tobacco and nicotine free environments and spaces for the health of those who rely us to keep them safe.




To learn more about QuitDoc Foundation, or Marion County Tobacco Free Partnership visit our website, or Like us on Facebook.
QuitDoc Foundation
Marion County Tobacco Free Partnership
Lauren Fischer · Tobacco Prevention Specialist · 352-359-5383 ·