A golden retriever named Henry was recovering this week after undergoing surgery to remove a 46-pound tumor on his side less than a month after he was found wandering alone on the sand in Newport Beach, apparently after being dumped.
Henry was discovered at the beach May 12, with the huge mass on his right side, KTLA reports.
"We got a call that there was a dog that was dumped on the beach. So when we went, we got him and we we went, 'Oh my gosh,'" said Valerie Schomburg, a Newport Beach animal-control supervisor.
The huge growth was pushing on Henry's right leg, which kept him from doing normal dog things, such as lifting his leg to relieve himself, she said.
Animal-control officers started asking around for a veterinarian who could help.
"Most vets that we've asked and have been involved in his story have never seen it that big," Schomburg said of the tumor.
Despite possible complications of removing a growth that size, vets decided that Henry — who is believed to be 8 years old — was strong enough to undergo surgery.
"He has too much love, and life to live, that we wanted to give him a chance," Schomburg said.
Henry's tumor was successfully removed June 2, putting him on the road to recovery.
The surgery, which cost thousands of dollars, was covered by donations. He isn't in the clear yet, as veterinarians are awaiting biopsy results to see if the tumor was cancerous.
If all goes well, Henry could be up for adoption in a few weeks.
"You can't keep him down," Schomburg said.
Officials don't know how long the dog had the tumor, but they do believe he was someone's pet at one time. However, it has not been determined whether there was animal cruelty or neglect.
Investigators are following up on leads.
"Just very shocking that it got that big and that someone wouldn't do the right thing," Schomburg said.