Dog With Huge Mass Growing on His Head Lives on the Streets for 8 Years—Until Rescuers Finally Save Him

Bear’s story is heartbreaking, but is thankfully headed for a happier ending.

One of the countless stray dogs roaming the streets of Cleveland, northeast of Houston, Texas, has captured much attention on social media: Bear, who had a huge cancerous mass growing on his face and had been suffering for a long time. It was painful to watch him surviving.

Many a neighbor had tried to help him, but to little avail.

On Jan. 9, locals who were familiar with the dog tagged animal rescue organization ThisIsHouston multiple times on social media, informing them he was in the area. One kind lady, who often fed Bear, saw blood on her porch and knew it was leakage from the enormous mass hanging on the side of his face. Bear had recently been there.

Rescuers arrived, and luckily Bear, too, returned. The woman was able to grab ahold of him long enough for them to slip a leash around his neck, and his huge lump of leaking flesh, and they brought him to Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Spring for a long-needed treatment.

He had lived on his own for about eight years, they guessed.

“It was truly heartbreaking to be out there with him, and to see how he lived for 8–10 years,” ThisIsHouston wrote in a Facebook post the day after rescuing Bear. “But the good news? The good news is he no longer has to live that way.”

They shared awful photos of the poor pooch with his giant, brain-sized abscess hanging from his neck like a second head.

(Courtesy of ThisIsHouston)

In an update on Jan. 11, they posted: “4,204,800 minutes. 70,080 hours. 2,920 days. 416 weeks. 96 months. 8 years. That’s how long Bear was on his own.”

“We’ve also been told Bear was owned but they just kinda got tired of him and stopped taking care of him,” they added. “Nothing unusual about that either; it’s infuriating but it happens to pets every single day.”

To top it off, they learned from an X-ray that the dog had recently been shot in the neck, and believe that someone had “tried to ‘end his suffering’ but obviously failed at it.” The abscess was not from the gunshot wound as the vet said, as the growth had been there for a year or two. The bullet was still lodged in the lefts side of Bear’s neck and would be left there, as it was causing no harm.

(Courtesy of ThisIsHouston)

Below the post, Facebook users expressed pity with comments like: “That’s hard to read. It brought me to tears,” “That story is awful… and heartbreaking to read… however, It does make it a bit easier knowing he is in the caring hands of TIH…,” and “Prayers for this precious dog! He’s going to be beautiful once that mass is removed.”

In an update prior to his surgery, ThisIsHouston shared: “The mass will be removed, and the bullet may be removed as well but that will depend on the surgeon,” adding that he “will lose his ear canal on the right side, but his ear flap will remain.”

Mercifully, this turned out not to be the case. They saved his ear.

(Courtesy of ThisIsHouston)

The animal rescue organization posted Bear’s after photo, showing the dog looking tired but quite relieved. “The mass weighed 3.5 POUNDS!” they wrote. “Gives a whole new meaning to feeling like a weight was lifted off his shoulders.”

According to an update from the rescue, Bear doesn’t have much longer to live, as he was diagnosed with lymphoma, but is undergoing chemo. They’re doing all they can to make sure Bear enjoys as many good days with loved ones—and ice cream—as possible in the time he has left. We wish you happiness for the remainder of your days, Bear!