At The Animal Club, we love animals and believe in treating them with the utmost respect. That is why we believe this story should be shared everywhere.
Henry, an eight-year-old golden retriever, was found abandoned and alone on a Southern California beach. And amazingly, he had a massive 46 pound tumor on his side,
When animal rescuers arrived on the scene, they knew it would be expensive to save the dog’s life. Henry had a 46-pound tumor growing on his side. In total, he weighed 118 pounds.
“He pushed his right front leg, in the shoulder area,” Valerie Schomburg, animal control officer at Newport Beach Animal Control, told The Dodo, continuing:
“He was starting to have difficulty walking because his right front leg was turned inward. Walking was a struggle for him.”
Valerie was shocked, horrified and her heart broke for the poor dog. She thought, “No animal should be allowed to suffer like this.” But Valerie also saw that Henry had a lot of life in him, so she immediately looked for a vet who could help the lovely dog.
Henry was suffering from a tumor so large that it was as if he had another medium sized dog attached to his side. He had been abandoned by his owner just when he needed it most.
But even so, Henry was optimistic when Newport Beach Animal Control staff rescued him. He would bark, wag his tail, and when his rescuers approached, he would give them kisses.
“He has so much love and life to live that we wanted to give him a chance,” said Supervisor Valerie Schomburg.
Then, five days after Henry was rescued, the vet performed surgery on Henry and successfully removed the tumor from the dog.
And instantly he became pounds lighter and much happier. The vet who helped Henry, Karla Nichols, was also surprised to see the size of Henry’s tumor.
But she wouldn’t charge him much to save him, Schomburg got Henry a $500 grant for her bills.
Fortunately, Henry recovered.
“You can’t keep it down,” Schomburg said.
After being saved, she began the search for a new loving family for the 8-year-old sweetie. Animal control also launched an investigation to find the owner and try to understand why someone dumped it in the street as garbage. It turned out that the dog’s real name was “Leonidas” and that a local woman owned it.
Charges being filed against the cruel owner included misdemeanor counts of animal neglect, failure to care for an animal and interference with a Newport Beach animal control investigation.
In 2017, owner Sherri Haughton was sentenced to 56 hours of community service and ordered to pay $7,346 in restitution to Newport Beach Police Department Animal Services and the Pick A Pet Foundation for veterinary care for Henry, according to LA Times.
After some thought, Valerie decided to become her adoptive mother. Henry loved his new life and made many new friends at Valerie’s home, where several foster dogs were waiting for a forever family.
“Wherever Henry went, he touched people’s lives with his love and happiness. Henry knew we didn’t give up on him like his owner did. He taught me a lot in the 10 months that I was his adoptive mother. I learned to never give up early on something, because you never know the outcome… and I learned to live life to the fullest every day! Henry didn’t let the numerous vet visits and procedures affect his love of EVERYTHING,”
Although the tumor was removed in 2016 and kind people did their best to make Henry feel well, the dog was still plagued with medical issues.
Henry had died peacefully while he slept.
“It has been a while since we have provided you with an update on Henry the Golden Retriever. Today, we have good news, and some sad news, to share. A few weeks ago, we lost Henry; he passed away peacefully, a dog that was loved and cherished for over a year in our care. We are sorry and wish to have closure on his story. But yesterday, Henry had his “day in court,” though he couldn’t be there to see it. And now we want to share both parts of this story with you, the community that has loved and supported Henry alongside us.”
Note: This video of Henry may be difficult for some viewers to watch, but the footage of the golden retriever after his surgery is truly beautiful.
Isn’t he a wonderful dog?
I am so impressed that he has remained so happy during the last years of his life. Share Henry’s story with the animal lovers in his life!