Prosecutors Weigh Charges For Woman Who Dumped Senior Dog At Park And Drove Away

Henry is a 13-year-old lab whose lived with his owner since he was a puppy. But this didn’t keep stop Henry’s owner from dumping this very good boy at city park in Vancouver, Washington, and – as her senior dog sadly looked on – jumping into her car and driving away.

Fortunately, this heartbreaking scene was captured on a neighbor’s surveillance camera, which prompted these good Samaritans to call the police. Meanwhile, the dog, who patiently waited for his owner to return, was surrendered to a local animal rescue, I Paw’d It Forward, where he’ll remain while police investigate this distressing case of animal cruelty.

“This woman thought the best way to get rid of a dog was to take him to Orchards Park in Vancouver, WA tonight and leave him there to watch her drive off in her Tesla with Oregon Plates,” incensed rescuers wrote on Facebook, where they shared this agonizing video.

The clip shows Henry hopping out of the car with his owner, clearly under the impression he’s going for a walk. But after the woman removes her dog’s collar and ID and leads him up to the trailhead, she dashes back to her vehicle and quickly drives away. Fortunately, the video also went viral, promptly a flurry of tips identifying the woman’s name, car, dog, and location. It wasn’t long before police had tracked Henry’s owner to her home in Portland, Oregon.

But while Henry’s owner insisted she felt forced to abandon her dog, rescuers weren’t impressed by her story, which struck them as phony and forced. “This animal abuser came in after Animal Control posted her door in Portland,” I Paw’d It Forward wrote on Facebook. “She drove her lovely Tesla to the meeting so she could cry her fake tears and make up her fake story. She did finally admit it, but she really had no choice. I Have ZERO EMPATHY FOR HER. Less than zero even.”

One thing that really irked rescuers was how Henry’s owner allegedly told her friends and family that Henry had died, all while the loyal pooch – according to the neighbor’s security footage — was patiently waiting across state lines for his owner to return. “Later tonight, I will settle down and be less of a jerk and probably even offer some alternatives for folks that are struggling, but right now, I am gonna take a minute and be sad for Henry,” rescuers wrote. “Sad for a 13-year-old dog who had to even feel one second of what it feels like to be abandoned.”

******UPDATE: Listen folks, the woman that did this is not some woman named Dominique. Whoever started sharing that…

Posted by I Paw'd It Forward on Thursday, August 6, 2020

In the meantime, prosecutors are weighing the appropriate penalty for Henry’s owner, who could face misdemeanor and civil charges. “Abandonment is considered to be animal cruelty,” an animal control officer involved in the case told KATU2. “It was her understanding that she had run out of options based on what she had told our investigating officers. She was unable to find a home for him on her own and had run out of options, in her mind.”

There’s no doubt that this is a difficult time for pet owners, many of whom are struggling to care for their pets in the wake of a global pandemic and economic crises that’s claimed millions of jobs. But there’s never an excuse for abandoning your animal, especially because local shelters, animal rescues, and pet food pantries can help with food, veterinary care, and even rehoming. Please contact your local Humane Society to learn more about what resources are available in your area.

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J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
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