Mr. Wilson's Story

September 13th, 2016

East Valle Animal Shelter -- Los Angeles, CA

Forever Foster Program

Mr Wilson is still going strong 18 months after initial cancer diagnosis!!

We found this old cocker at East Valley Animal Shelter in the San Fernando Valley. We like to pull dogs from high-kill shelters and East Valley is definitely one of them. We saw him as a matted mess of black dreaded fur. He was a ball of unwashed and greasy hair. He even had feces stuck to his backside for so long, it weaved itself into the fur! His shelter records say he was an Owner Relinquish and that he had come in soaking wet: his former owner had hosed him down before dropping him off. 

We were so heartbroken over his story and of his deplorable state that we had to take him. He is approx. 11 years of age and has had 11 years of neglect. It is obvious that he was not cared for and probably lived in a backyard where no one saw him.

The first place he went after was to the Biju Pet Spa in Sherman Oaks, CA. We were almost afraid he looked so bad no one wanted to touch him, let alone bathe him! But our fears were tempered when the wonderful people at Biju accepted him with open arms and gave him his first bath. Not with cold hose water in the backyard, but warm water in a clean tub with soothing shampoo. Grooming took about 2 hours!

However at the time that we committed to him and let the shelter know, we were not aware of his physical issues because his matted fur hid them so well. Shall we begin?

  • Mr. Wilson has the worst ears we have ever seen (and CCR has been rescuing dogs for 11 years). We thought Teddy's were bad! He will need ear-ablation surgery to remove those large masses of cartilage on both sides. There is puss oozing out of both ears so we know his ear canals aren't totally blocked. He will be receiving a CT scan of his head in the very near future to see what exactly is going on in there. 
  • Mr. Wilson also has what appears to be serious eye infections. He will need medicated eye drops for now.
  • Mr Wilson has very bad knees, as you can see in the video he walks a little funny.
  • Mr. Wilson has numerous hard tumors: one in his mouth, one on his anal glad, one is his testicle, along with numerous smaller masses around his genital area. These have all been removed and biopsied to rule out cancer. We are waiting on the results.
  • Mr. Wilson has an umbilical hernia that will be repaired.

WOW! That's all we know right now. We want to approach vetting for this old fella very slowly and carefully. Our goal right now is to make him as comfortable as possible. We are waiting to hear from the radiologists to see if he is a candidate for surgery.

If you have been following along on our Periscope or Twitter feed, you will see all of his videos. He is very sweet and gentle and just sits there while the doctors and tech's examine him.

Update --September 28th 2016

It has been twelve days since Mr. Wilson had his surgery to remove multiple tumors and get biopsies (on an anal gland tumor, a testicle tumor, smaller tumors on his abdomen and a mouth tumor) The final biopsy results came back in and the mouth tumor pathology report is that it is an aggressive form of cancer. There is a new, yet controversial treatment for oral cancer in canines.

Here is a link to read more about it:

This puts the idea of doing a double ear ablation surgery on Mr. Wilson on hold. This is all new territory for us so before we make any decisions, an oncologist consult is next. His foster mom Nancy says he is eating and doing well and has bonded quickly.

We are crushed by this news of cancer but it isn't over until Mr. Wilson says it's over.

He's eating
He's wagging his tail

and we are taking him to an oncologist

we know he's a senior dog
we know we could save younger dogs with the same funds

but we are in it for as long as Mr. Wilson wants to be around

Update -- October 11th 2016

Mr. Wilson went to the oncologist on Friday and had some tissue samples from his lymph nodes sent out for a biopsy. The pathology report came back that there is no cancer in his lymph nodes.

He also had his first Oral Melanoma Vaccine on Friday (the first in a series of injections, designed to delay the spread of the cancer)

His surgery for melanoma removal went well. He had surgery with a board certified surgeon who got the widest margins possible on both his mouth and his elbow where there was another less aggressive cancer spot. He is currently resting and healing at his Forever Foster home.

More updates to come!

January 4th 2017--- HAPPY NEW YEAR From Mr Wilson!

Update -- Happy Valentines Day from Mr. WIlson!


Please be assured that Mr. Wilson's medical bills are coming out of the funds that people have been donating specifically for him. (some people registered their displeasure that we were spending so much on a senior dog).

We understand if you do not feel comfortable donating to this old guy, we really do.

But if you want to donate towards his care (he is quite the medical project) we would be grateful and so would Mr. Wilson! He needs the last stretch of his life to be pain-free, infection-free, and full of care and love! He deserves any ounce of love he can get!

Please click on the button to donate:

We are also looking for monthly sponsors to help with the cost of food and medication while he is in a foster home. If we can rely on monthly sponsorships for our current dogs, we can responsibly and safely rescue more who are currently waiting in shelters across the Southland.



Thank you everyone!

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-Camp Cocker Rescue