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Jan. 16, 2022

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Dog abandoned in Orchards doing well in foster care

Former owner reaches agreement with authorities, avoid criminal charges

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A senior Labrador retriever that was abandoned by his owner earlier this month at Orchards Community Park — an act caught on a home security camera and shared widely on social media — is doing well in his foster home, the county announced Wednesday.

The Humane Society for Southwest Washington says it has received a flood of offers to adopt 13-year-old Henry.

“We are happy to report that Henry has been staying with a wonderful foster family and has adjusted well,” President Stacey Graham said in a county news release.

In an Aug. 13 Facebook post, the shelter said Henry had “become good friends” with the foster family’s golden retriever. It added that clinic teams were reviewing Henry’s medical records to come up with a treatment plan, as he has a number of medical issues typical to an older Labrador retriever.

“We are heartened by so many from across the globe who have been interested in Henry’s story,” Graham said in the news release. “Our shelter and hundreds across the country take in lost, abandoned and neglected dogs, like Henry, every day. We thank everyone for caring about Henry and believe that he will soon be meeting his new family.”

Henry’s owner, identified as Maria Bruce, 63, of Portland, has admitted to abandoning him the night of Aug. 6, according to Clark County Animal Protection and Control.

Neighbors near the park held on to Henry until help arrived. Local nonprofit, I Paw’d It Forward, which handles animal-related emergencies, responded and took Henry to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. The group also reported the abandonment to animal control and posted the security footage of the incident on social media.

It has been keeping the public updated on Henry’s status on Facebook.

Tips from the public led animal control officers to Bruce, who came in voluntarily to discuss why she dropped off Henry and drove away. Bruce reportedly told them that she could no longer keep Henry and believed she had run out of options, according to the county news release.

Abandonment is a form of animal cruelty under Clark County Code, the news release states. I Paw’d It Forward said on Facebook that Bruce was originally cited for second-degree animal cruelty. However, Bruce has been cooperative with authorities and signed a Confession of Judgment in lieu of criminal charges, according to the county. She must pay fines and reimburse the county for the cost of Henry’s care. She also agreed to not own any dogs for two years.

Anyone struggling to keep or care for their pet should contact their local animal shelters and rescue groups.

“Our animals trust us and depend on us for their survival,” animal control program manager Susan Anderson said in the news release. “If rehoming is the only option, pet owners have a responsibility to do so humanely, so as to not betray that trust.”