San Diego Rescue Pup Gets a “Pawty” to Celebrate His One Year of Being Cancer-Free

Phoenix is a Saint Bernard/shepherd mix who came to the San Diego Humane Society as a stray with malignant tumors. Today, he left Society and went home as a four-year-old cancer-free dog.

This rescue dog had an important milestone to celebrate so the staff organized a party. On April 1st, he arrived at his party to celebrate his one-year, cancer-free anniversary.

The celebration was a blast: it included peanut butter, dog-friendly cake, a lot of party hats, cheers and hugs, and many slimes at the Pilar & Chuck Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine in El Cajon, California.

A Long History with the San Diego Humane Society

Phoenix has a long history with society. He first came as a stray in 2020, malnourished and full of fleas and missing fur spots.

After he was examined, he was diagnosed with TVT, a malignant cancerous tumor, which can be dangerous if not treated. However, as the cancer was diagnosed early on, the dog was a good candidate for the Vincristine chemo. 

Society didn’t want to deny Phoenix the opportunity to get healthy and find a happy, forever home. They assisted him through the 13 chemo sessions. After these sessions, his tumors significantly reduced, but he wasn’t yet cancer-free.

Dr. Colleen Tansey from the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital volunteered to provide electrochemotherapy for the pup and commuted twice to San Diego on her days off to administer the therapy, all free of charge.

It Took a Village to Get Phoenix Where He Is Now, but It Was All Worth It

For Danielle Clem, DVM, and the director of the hospital at Society’s San Diego Campus, it often takes a village to help out these animals, and this is something evident in Phoenix’s situation. 

They had an expert from LA helping them out, but also a wonderful foster family who ensured Phoenix is comfortable between the chemo sessions, and the whole medical team at the Society took their part as carers.

After he got his cancer-free diagnosis, Colette Troughton adopted Phoenix. She is a vet assistant at the Society and she helped organize Phoenix’s anniversary “pawty”. 

According to his new mom, Phoenix is a big dog with a big personality. 

He inspires her to see the good things in others and she feels happy spending her days with him. She is endlessly grateful for everyone who took part in showering her dog with love and making his recovery a reality.