California Animal Control officers were in total disbelief when they went to pick up an abandoned dog and saw that he had a 46-pound tumor on his side (video below.)
The pup is recovering from the ordeal, while his former owner faces criminal charges, notes KCAL.
"We got a call that there was a dog that was dumped on the beach," Valerie Schomburg, a supervisor at Newport Beach Animal Control in Orange County, California, told KTLA. "So when we went, we got him, and we we [said], 'oh my gosh.'"
They had found a Golden Retriever named Henry with a giant mass on the right side of his body. Henry, whom vets guessed was around 8 years old, could hardly move anything on his right side and couldn't even lift his leg to urinate because of the huge growth in his body.
"Just very shocking that it got that big, and that someone wouldn't do the right thing," said Schomburg. "Whoever did this to Henry might have to answer [for] it."
Eventually, vets decided that Henry could handle surgery to remove the tumor, even though there were major health risks due to its size. The pup underwent a successful procedure, thanks in part to thousands of dollars in donations that paid for it.
"Most vets that we've asked and have been involved in his story have never seen [a tumor] that big," Schomburg explained. "He has so much love and life to live that we wanted to give him a second chance."
Henry has been through two cancer surgeries, but his spirits are high, notes KCAL. He moved in with a foster family, while Schomburg tirelessly tracked down his owner, whom she believes is a woman named Sherri Haughton.
Haughton was charged with misdemeanors including life-endangering animal neglect, failure to care for an animal, animal abandonment and interfering with the duties of an animal control officer. If she is convicted, she could face up to two years in prison.
"[Henry] living that way was very neglectful," Schomburg told KCAL. "He was depressed, in pain, all the things that we shouldn’t let our animals suffer."
The pup's former owner reportedly took him to a veterinarian and said that he was not her pet when the vet told her that the Golden Retriever needed care for the tumor.
Shortly after the alleged interaction, Schomburg found Henry on the beach.
After his battle with cancer, Henry is a healthy boy and he is living the life he should have had all along.
"As of right now, Henry's a happy dog," said Animal Control Officer Nick Ott.