On Oct. 9, a year-old dog with a 6.4-pound tumor was brought to Gallatin County Animal Shelter in Sparta, Kentucky, with his owners asking for him to be euthanized rather than get the medical care he so desperately needed. The staff at the shelter, however, thought the canine deserved a second chance at life.
Kayla Nunn, an employee at the shelter, told petMD that the tumor, located on the dog's leg, was painful and already starting to rupture from being dragged on the ground. He also had injuries from a slightly embedded collar. But despite his condition, Clyde, as he's now known, "was sweet as can be and a very happy dog," Nunn said.
The Shepherd/Husky mix was way too young to endure the type of treatment he'd been receiving, Nunn said, and he'd been dealing with this awful condition for more than half of his life already.
The shelter decided to send an email to various rescues to alert them about Clyde and see if any could help out. That's when HART (Homeless Animal Rescue Team) of Cincinnatti, Ohio, stepped in.
Clyde was transferred to HART thanks to the efforts of a volunteer who brought him to his new destination on the very day he was discarded by his owner. The next day, the organization announced on its Facebook page that Clyde underwent surgery.
"The surgery was extremely successful and took roughly two hours and involved 50-60 blood vessels," described Katie Goodpaster, a HART volunteer. "He had lost some blood, and the vet didn't want to keep him under anesthesia any longer than necessary. A drainage tube was put in his chest to allow fluids to drain and will be taken out in a couple of days."
HART posted an updated report on its website, in which Clyde's vet, Dr. Fidan Kaptan, said, "the next step that we have for him is getting a biopsy done. Basically, the biopsy will tell us a little bit better about the mass, what we’re dealing with." They noted that, if the tumor is cancerous, Clyde may need chemotherapy.
Goodpaster assued petMD that in terms of his overall health, "Clyde seems to be doing wonderfully. He was understandably a little groggy the day of his surgery, but the staff had him on a lead the follow day in the yard and he wouldn't sit still! He greets everyone with a tail wag and seems to be in good spirits."
Clyde is now 6.4 pounds lighter and, when he's ready, will be available for adoption in a few short weeks (he still needs to be neutered) into the loving forever home he deserves. "Even though I'm sure he felt horrible, when he was first brought in he greeted everyone with a tail wag and a smile," Goodpaster said, adding, "At a year old, he definitely did not deserve a death sentence! That boy has so many more years of love and happiness ahead of him!"
In the meantime, Clyde's supporters can make a donation to help with his medical expenses here.
Image via HART of Cincinnatti Animal Rescue
Read more: 8 Types of Dog Tumors and How to Treat Them