Over 500,000 dog photos have been shared to the Facebook page set up to help Anthony Lyons stay smiling through his cancer treatment

By Kelli Bender
Updated January 06, 2015 12:15 AM

Thousands of dog lovers have united on Facebook to help a Phoenix teen through his cancer treatment.

Anthony Lyons, 16, is currently at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital undergoing chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia, reports ABC News. The treatments can be a draining ordeal, but there’s one thing that always brightens Lyons’s time in the hospital: dog therapy.

“It really helps – the pet therapy,” Lyons told FOX 10. “I can be in here having a really bad day, and one of the dogs will show up and it will be the highlight of the day.”

Unfortunately, therapy dogs do not visit Phoenix Children’s Hospital every day. To help Lyons on the days the canines are out, a family friend created the Facebook event “Photo Doggies for Anthony.”

The page isn’t for planning an actual event, however. Instead, it’s a place where caring strangers from around the world can share their dog photos with Lyons.

In just a few days, the page has seen over 500,000 photo posts of adorable pups, all shared to help keep Lyons smiling through his time at the hospital. Along with all the pup pictures, Facebook users are also posting words of encouragement and support for the teen.

This outpouring of love, concern and dogs has left the Lyons family stunned and grateful.

“I am amazed at how quickly this event has blown up, and it makes me so happy to know how many people enjoy their pets as much as Anthony and I do. Your pets have brightened our days so much, and it just shows you the power of pet therapy and animal healing,” Lyons’s mother, Kristen Lyons, posted on Facebook.

“This just shows what great people animal lovers are, and we are really feeling the love from you and your pets in this difficult time. Thank you all so much from the bottom of our hearts.”

If you would like to share your own animal photo with Anthony Lyons, visit the Facebook event page here.

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