by Photo courtesy of San Diego Humane Society

A dog was celebrated Friday at the San Diego Humane Society for being cancer-free for a year after undergoing cutting-edge chemotherapy performed at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine. 

Phoenix, the four-year-old Saint Bernard and shepherd mix, was surrounded by the veterinary team at the San Diego Humane Society for a “Pawty” which included a peanut butter cake and lots of congratulatory pets and kisses. 

The San Diego Humane Society received Phoenix on Nov. 5, 2020, as a malnourished, flea-infested stray with missing fur. Phoenix was diagnosed with a Transmissible Venereal Tumor (TVT), a malignant cancerous tumor.

By January 2021, Phoenix had received 13 treatments which shrunk most of the masses, but two remained. 

In an effort to further Phoenix’s treatment, the team connected with Dr. Colleen Tansey from VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, who offered to provide electrochemotherapy for Phoenix at no additional cost to the San Diego Humane Society. 

“Sometimes it truly takes a village to help the animals, and that’s exactly what happened in Phoenix’s case,” said Danielle Clem, DVM, hospital director at San Diego Humane Society’s San Diego Campus. “Not only did we have an expert come from Los Angeles to help us, we had an incredible foster family who made sure Phoenix was comfortable in between treatments and the entire medical team at San Diego Humane Society involved in his care.” 

Phoenix was adopted by San Diego Humane Society Veterinary Assistant Colette Troughton. 

“Phoenix is a big dog with an even bigger personality,” said Troughton. “He inspires me to see the good in everyone, and I feel so lucky to get to spend my days with him. I am forever grateful for all the caretakers that showered him with love and made his recovery possible.”

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