A California woman is facing prison time after her golden retriever was found with a giant tumor that nearly doubled the dog's body weight.
Sherri Haughton took the dog to a veterinary hospital on May 12, claiming the golden retriever was a stray, the Daily Mail reported. The dog had a huge mass pushing against his right leg, making it difficult for him to walk or to relieve himself.
Rescuers named the dog Henry. He was taken to Newport Beach Animal Control and underwent surgery to remove the 42-pound tumor.
The surgery, which was covered by donations, was successful, and Henry is now recovering, KTLA reported. He appeared during a news conference on Dec. 14, where the Orange County District Attorney’s Office formally announced the charges against Haughton.
Haughton, who hails from Newport Beach, was identified as the previous owner of the 7-year-old golden retriever. She has been charged with misdemeanor counts of failure to care for an animal, animal neglect, animal abuse causing life-threatening injuries and interfering with a Newport Beach animal control investigation.
Jennifer Malone, who works in the District Attorney's office, said Haughton gave false information to the hospital, causing a delay to the investigation and to the dog's crucial treatment.
Malone added that there was evidence that showed Haughton had previously taken the dog to the vet and did not obtain treatment for the animal after learning about its condition.
Haughton will appear in court Jan. 13, and is facing up to two years in jail. Henry is currently with a foster family, and is receiving ongoing treatment.
“He’s a happy dog now that he’s received the treatment that he needs," Nick Ott, an animal control officer with the Newport Beach Police Department, told KTLA.
During the news conference, officials provided options for pet owners who cannot afford treatment. One of those options including turning the pet over to animal services.
Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is one of the organizations that can offer assistance to pet owners who can't afford treatment. Officials added that residents can also donate to the city to help pets in custody of animal services get the care they need.