Golden Retriever abandoned with 46-pound tumor could barely walk

Eight-year-old golden retriever Henry was found abandoned and alone on a beach in Southern California. And shockingly, he had a massive 46-pound tumor on his side, KTLA News reported in 2016.

When animal rescue workers were brought to 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.

”It pushed on his right front leg, in his shoulder area,” Valerie Schomburg, an animal control officer at Newport Beach Animal Control, told The Dodo and continued:

”He was starting to have a difficult time walking because his front right leg was turned inward. Walking was a struggle for him.”

Valerie was shocked, appalled, 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 sought out a veterinarian who could help the lovely dog.

Henry suffered from a tumor so giant that it was like there was a whole other medium-sized dog attached to his side. He had been abandoned by his owner just when he needed him most.

But still, Henry was upbeat when Newport Beach Animal Control staff rescued him. He would bark, wag his tail, and when his rescuers got close, he gave 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 Henry’s surgery and successfully removed the dog’s tumor.

And he instantly became pounds lighter and much happier. The veterinarian who helped Henry, Karla Nichols, was also taken shocked when she saw the size of Henry’s tumor.

But she wouldn’t charge much for saving him, Schomburg got Henry a $500 grant for his bills.

Thankfully, Henry recovered.

“You can’t keep him down,” Schomburg said.

After being saved, the search for a new, loving family for the 8-year-old sweetie began. Animal control also started an investigation to find the owner and tried to understand why someone threw him out on the streets like trash. It turned out that the dog’s real name was ”Leonidas” and that a woman in the area owned him.

The charges that was being brought against the cruel owner included misdemeanor counts of animal neglect, failure to care for an animal and interfering with a Newport Beach animal control investigation.

In 2017, the owner, Sherri Haughton, was sentenced to 56 hours of community service and ordered to pay $7,346 in restitution to the Newport Beach Police Department’s Animal Services and the Pick A Pet Foundation for Henry’s veterinary care, according to LA Times.

After some thinking, Valerie decided to become his foster mom. Henry loved his new life and made many new friends at Valerie’s house, where several foster dogs were waiting for a permanent family.

”Everywhere Henry went, he touched people’s lives with his love and happiness. Henry knew that we didn’t give up on him like his owner did. He taught me so much in the 10 months I was his foster Mom. 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 for EVERYTHING,” Valerie wrote on Facebook.

However, in October 2017, the Newport Beach Police released a tragic statement on Facebook.

Although the tumor was removed in 2016 and kind people did everything in their power to make Henry feel good, the dog was still plagued with medical issues.

Henry had died peacefully in his sleep.

”It’s been a while since we have provided you with an update on Henry the Golden Retriever. Today, we have some good news – and some sad news – to share. Some weeks ago, we lost Henry; he passed away peacefully, a dog who was loved and cherished for more than a year in our care. We mourned him and wished that we had closure on his story. But yesterday, Henry had his “day in court”, even though he couldn’t be there to see it. And now we want to share both parts of this story with you, the community who has loved and supported Henry right 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 lovely.

Isn’t he a wonderful dog?

I’m so impressed that he’s remained so happy throughout the last years of his life. Please share Henry’s story with the animal lovers in your life!

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