Security cameras show the woman stop her Tesla in a cul-de-sac near Orchards Park on August 6, lead her dog to the park, then quickly run back to her car and drive away as the dog looks on. A second video shows a separate car drive through the area a short time later and the dog tries to follow it.
The nonprofit shelter I Paw’d It Foward took the 13-year-old yellow lab named Henry to the Humane Society for Southwest Washington while Clark County Animal Protection and Control carried out an investigation.
On Wednesday, county officials revealed that public tips led them to Henry’s owner: 63-year-old Maria Bruce. Officials said Bruce came in voluntarily and explained that she couldn’t keep Henry and didn’t know what else to do.
Abandonment is a form of animal cruelty under Clark County law. Bruce has cooperated with investigators and agreed to sign a Confession of Judgement in lieu of criminal charges, according to county officials. She must pay fines and reimburse the county for the cost of Henry’s care and she also can’t own any dogs for two years.
As for Henry? There’s no shortage of people eager to open their homes and hearts to him.
“We are happy to report that Henry has been staying with a wonderful foster family and has adjusted well,” said Stacey Graham, the president of the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. “We are heartened by so many from across the globe who have been interested in Henry’s story. 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.”
Help is available for pet owners in need. Animal Protection and Control said anyone struggling to keep or care for a pet should reach out to their local animal shelters and rescue groups. “Our animals trust us and depend on us for their survival,” says program manager, Susan Anderson. “If rehoming is the only option, pet owners have a responsibility to do so humanely, so as to not betray that trust.”
For more information on Clark County Animal Protection and Control visit https://www.clark.wa.gov/community-development/animals-and-pets.