The former owner of a golden retriever named Henry, who last year was left at a Newport Beach animal hospital while stricken with a 42-pound malignant tumor, was sentenced Thursday to three years’ informal probation.
Sherri Haughton, 53, of Irvine also was sentenced to 56 hours of community service and ordered to pay $7,346 in restitution to the Newport Beach Police Department’s Animal Services and the Pick A Pet Foundation for Henry’s veterinary care.
In addition, she was ordered to attend a 16-week animal-neglect prevention program and prohibited from owning, caring for or living with an animal, according to the Orange County district attorney’s office.
Haughton was sentenced immediately after pleading guilty Thursday in Orange County Superior Court to one count of failing to care for an animal and a count of animal abandonment, both misdemeanors. Two other misdemeanor charges were dismissed, according to court records.
Haughton spent about three days in jail in March in connection with the case after she didn’t appear for an arraignment, court and jail records show.
Newport Beach animal-control officers launched an investigation into Henry’s situation last year after Haughton took him to an animal hospital with the massive tumor on his right side. The growth nearly doubled his body weight and impeded his ability to walk.
According to investigators, when Haughton got to the hospital with Henry on May 12, 2016, she told employees she had found the dog on the beach.
Animal-control staff took custody of Henry and he received thousands of dollars worth of veterinary care, which was paid for by donations.
Officials said the tumor started small but when left untreated grew to a size that made immediate treatment necessary to save Henry’s life.
The tumor was removed in June 2016, but Henry was still plagued with medical issues. He died this year at age 8 while living with a foster family.
“Henry seemed to make the most out of the weeks he had left. He became a local celebrity as the media picked up his story. Soon he had fans all over the country and beyond,” said Valerie Schomburg, a Newport Beach animal-control supervisor.
“No animal should be abandoned by its owner when they are suffering. Henry was thrown out by [Haughton], but one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Henry will always be my treasure and he will never be forgotten,” Schomburg said.