NEWPORT BEACH ( — A Newport Coast woman was charged Wednesday with several misdemeanors for allegedly dumping her ailing golden retriever with a 46-pound tumor at an animal hospital as a stray.

Sherri Haughton was charged with life-endangering animal neglect, failure to care for an animal, animal abandonment and interfering with the duties of an animal control officer, all misdemeanors, according to Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Malone.

Haughton, who could face up to two years in jail if convicted at trial, was scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 13.

On May 12, she went to AAA Animal Hospital in Huntington Beach and told veterinarians that she found a stray on the beach, Malone said. Her dog, Henry, was having trouble walking and couldn’t lift his leg to urinate because of the tumor, Malone alleged.

Haughton allegedly was told by a veterinarian earlier that the dog needed care for the tumor, but Malone declined comment on why she failed to seek medical treatment or why she took the dog to the animal hospital and allegedly claimed it was not her pet.

Henry now is living with a foster family in Orange County after having the tumor surgically removed.

After the surgery

Henry, after the surgery

“As of right now, Henry’s a happy dog,” said Animal Control Officer Nick Ott.

Newport Beach police, animal control officers, Malone, the Orange County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Supervisor Michelle Steel urged owners of ailing pets today to turn their animals over to authorities if they cannot afford veterinary care.

It wold have cost Haughton $81 to turn the dog over to Newport Beach’s animal control officers, who would have footed the bill for the surgery, Malone said. Instead, the Newport Coast woman is facing criminal charges, the prosecutor said.

“No animal should be subjected to needless pain and suffering,” Malone said.

Haughton is also accused of slowing down treatment of the dog and the investigation of her actions by producing a false ID to officials, Malone said.

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Comments (9)
  1. I’m glad they’re charging her, and I hope she does time!
    Cruel wench.

  2. I understand the helplessness that is too often felt with veterinary care as it is practiced today. The cost of it is outrageously expensive — especially when surgery becomes necessary — and those cost prohibitions far too often result in the inhumane suffering of animals, abandonment or desertion to a high-kill shelter system…or being put down prematurely when appropriate medical care CAN resolve what doesn’t hold a life-ending diagnosis…but ends up becoming one. I cannot, however, find ANY excuse for what this woman did…and allowed this poor dog to go through for what sounds like an extended period of time (a 46 lb. tumor???).

    There are resources for help if you look for them — groups and organizations that might be able to assist, Care Credit, rescue groups to connect with, or just have a conversation with your veterinarian. Sometimes pro-bono or assistance in structuring a GoFundMe page is something a REAL veterinarian who truly cares about animals will try to give some guidance on — at least those who are fulfilling a calling and not just their pocket. But you investigate/research…then DO something to help a pet YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR and supposedly love. They can’t do it themselves. Unconditional love works BOTH ways — receiving it…and GIVING it!

    I hope they throw the damn book at this piece of work! And I hope this sweet dog finally finds a true and loving home to call his own.

  3. So we have a choice. Charge her and put her in jail or fine her. Remember, others are looking at this and if they are in a similar situation, that animal will just disappear. Believe me, that is easy to do. My neighbor hung his dog and tossed it into the trash bin. Was he punished..nope. No one even knew for weeks. So this woman at least attempted to fix the problem she created.

    1. JanieD says:

      Lorraine…and once it had finally been discovered (I don’t know how it was), did no one bother to report it??? No wonder he was never punished!

  4. Rita Leone says:

    That LOUSY POS….Golden’s are the most sweetest of dogs, have a wonderful temperament..WHICH is why they are used for Nursing Homes, hospitals, and even on Sept. 11,
    at World Trade Center….

    It is beyond comprehension, that we, as a human species, think that only our lives matter…That other living, breathing, feeling beings such as innocent dogs are without consequence and are here
    for our mere pleasure and satisfaction, no matter the cost to them…

    This is Blatant Animal Abuse and Abandonment and this LOSER SHOULD GET THE MAX IN
    JAIL…no less then 2 yrs….Just think of the suffering that this poor dog had to endure with that
    MASSIVE TUMOR …he could barely walk, go to potty, an or even sleep comfortably….

    People get outraged at the slightest harm brought to a child (another innocent defenseless being) but abuse, torture, and or murder an animal or animals and you brush it off as bad judgment!


    THIS person needs a wake-up-call on how to own and take care of innocent animals with no
    VOICE! PLEASE GIVE HER 2 YRS. MAX. IN JAIL….PERIOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Jill Burch says:

    These people really need to go to jail and never be allowed to own another animal of any kind. There should be some type of monitoring system to flag them if they ever attempt to possess another animal.

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