Last May, officers from the Newport Beach Police Department in California were shocked to discover a golden retriever wandering in the sand all alone.
Even more shocking was the massive tumor on the dog’s side, which weighed down his whole body and made walking extremely difficult.
The dog, whom rescuers named Henry, was taken to the Newport Beach Animal Hospital, where he underwent surgery to have the tumor removed.
In total, the tumor weighed a staggering 46 pounds, nearly doubling his body weight. Henry made a full recovery, and thanks to an outpouring of donations from the public, his medical bills were covered.
But there were still some questions. Whose dog had he been? Other than the tumor, he appeared to have been cared for, so it seemed likely that the poor dog had been abandoned. But by who?
Now, it seems that Henry’s former owner has finally been identified. Read on below to learn about Henry’s incredible rescue.
Note: Some readers might find the following images troubling.
[H/T: Daily Mail, KTLA]
When officers found Henry the golden retriever wandering alone near an animal hospital, they were speechless.
On the dog’s side was the biggest tumor they’d ever seen, weighing some 46 pounds and nearly doubling Henry’s body weight.
The tumor was so big that walking was difficult, and he couldn’t even lift his leg to relieve himself.
It was clearly a case of neglect, and they knew they had to do something to save him.
Many vets were apprehensive about taking on such a huge tumor, but finally, Henry got the care he needed, and public donations funded the bills.
“Most vets that we’ve asked and have been involved in his story have never seen [a tumor] that big,” said Valerie Schomburg, an animal control supervisor with the Newport Beach Police Department.
“He has so much love and life to live that we wanted to give him a second chance,” she said.
Henry has been recovering, and is in good health for his age, which is about 7 or 8.
According to police, the fact that someone allowed the tumor to get so enormous was a sign of cruel and dangerous neglect.
“It’s very shocking that [the tumor] got that big and someone wouldn’t do the right thing,” Schomburg said.
She also noted that there are many programs in place that help out with vet bills.
After following up on some leads, they tracked down Sherri Haughton of Newport Beach.
Authorities said that Sherri was Henry’s owner, but that she pretended he was a stray she’d found when leaving him at the animal hospital.
Sherri was charged with animal cruelty and neglect in December. She was also charged with obstruction, as police say that she gave false information to the hospital that delayed Henry’s treatment.
By that time, Henry had become something of a local celebrity, even getting some airtime on the local news.
Currently, Henry is living in foster care and awaiting adoption. His health continues to improve. He’s still getting treatment, and he’s in good spirits.
The police department and local animal rescue organizations hope that nothing like this will ever happen to another animal, which is why they are urging people to seek help for sick pets rather than simply dumping them.
You can help prevent the dumping of animals by donating to your local shelter or to the SPCA so they can help people with their pets.
Check out Henry’s transformation in the video below, and please SHARE Henry’s story to show that no dog should ever be thrown away!
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