Humane Society throws party to celebrate dog being one year cancer-free

For the San Diego Humane Society, this April 1 wasn’t just “April Fools Day,” but a very special milestone they knew they had to celebrate.

One of their most special animal friends celebrated one year of being cancer-free — and they threw a very sweet “pawty” to mark the occasion.

Phoenix is a 4-year-old Saint Bernard/shepherd mix who is “near and dear to the hearts of many staff” at the San Diego Humane Society, according to a press release.

San Diego Humane Society


The shelter took in the dog as a malnourished, flea-infested stray in November 2020. Making things even worse, he was diagnosed with a malignant, cancerous tumor that had gone untreated.

Under the care of the SDHS’ medical team, Phoenix received chemotherapy treatments at the Bahde Center for Shelter Medicine.

San Diego Humane Society

After 13 treatments, nearly all his tumors were gone, but two remained. He then received a cutting-edge electrochemotherapy treatment thanks to Dr. Colleen Tansey of the VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital.

“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 SDHM’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.”

San Diego Humane Society

Thanks to the amazing care he received, Phoenix is now cancer-free: April 1 marked the official one-year anniversary.

So his old friends at the SDHS medical team knew they had to do something special to celebrate. They threw a lavish “pawty” for their beloved former patient, complete with a peanut butter cake and lots of gifts for the man of the hour.

San Diego Humane Society

Phoenix’s friends lined the hall to cheer for him as he entered the building, donning a bandana that read “Life’s a Pawty.”

San Diego Humane Society
San Diego Humane Society

The hospital was covered in decorations congratulating him on a full year being cancer-free.

They made the dog a special peanut butter cake, which he seems to have enjoyed a lot:

San Diego Humane Society

And he was delighted to receive gifts like a stuffed pineapple toy:

San Diego Humane Society

Not only is Phoenix cancer-free, but he’s living his best life in his new home. According to the press release, the dog was adopted by San Diego Humane Society Veterinary Assistant Colette Troughton.

“Phoenix is a big dog with an even bigger personality,” she said. “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.”

San Diego Humane Society

We’re so glad that Phoenix is cancer-free and living his best life. Thank you to the San Diego Humane Society for throwing him such a heartwarming party to celebrate this milestone!

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