A Newport Coast dog owner faces several misdemeanor animal cruelty charges for dropping off her dog at an animal hospital and claiming she found the golden retriever with a 42-pound tumor as a stray. Sherri Haughton was charged on Wednesday with the following misdemeanors: life-endangering animal neglect, animal abandonment and interfering with the duties of an animal control officer.
According to NbcLosAngeles, Haughton claimed to have found Henry the golden retriever wandering alone in the sand on May 12. The dog had a huge tumor on his side. He could barely walk and wasn’t able to even life his leg to urinate. And that’s the story Haughton told a veterinary hospital when she brought the dog in, but she never returned.
According to prosecutors, Haughton could have arranged for Henry’s proper care and avoided the animal cruelty charges. Even if she was unable to afford the surgery for her dog, it would only have cost her $81 to surrender him to the Newport Beach Animal Control who then would have made the decision to operate on the friendly pooch. Authorities also discovered that Haughton had been told by a veterinarian earlier her dog needed care for the tumor, but she obviously never heeded the professional advice. Instead she took the dog to the animal hospital and allegedly claimed it was not her dog.
Seven-year-old Henry was transferred to the Newport Beach Animal Control where he underwent surgery to remove the tumor one week later. His veterinarian expenses have been covered by generous donations. Henry now lives with a foster family, and his condition is being monitored as his treatment continues.
“He’s a happy dog now that he’s received the treatment that he needs,” stated animal control officer Nick Ott.
If found guilty of all charges, Haughton could face up to two years in jail. She is scheduled to be arraigned on January 13.
(Photos of dog with 42-pound tumor courtesy of Newport Beach Animal Control)
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