Humane Society of Johnson County creates bucket list for terminally ill dog with cancer


Photo of Howard provided to the IndyStar courtesy of Pam Self

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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. – The Humane Society of Johnson County has a soft spot in their hearts for senior animals. So when they discovered a 12-year-old golden retriever in their care was terminally ill, they created a bucket list for him to make his last days special.

Howard the dog was found as a stray four months ago at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. The Humane Society of Johnson County took Howard in, and their office manager Pam Self adopted him.

“We go up to Indianapolis to pull dogs so they don’t get euthanized,” Self told the IndyStar. “Howard had just come in. He was skin and bones. He just looked horrible.”

They brought him back to the shelter, and a veterinarian checked him out. Howard was given a devastating diagnosis — he had a fast growing cancerous tumor in his abdomen. The vet said he had less than 12 months to live, but they want to make sure he has a good ending.

“We don’t know what his life was like before but we wanted to make sure it had a good ending,” Self told the IndyStar. “We got together the staff here and made a good bucket list for him.”

The humane society is documenting Howard’s bucket list on their Facebook page.

According to Howard’s GoFundMe page, he has completed four of his bucket list items.

“He went to Mrs. Curls for ice cream, was an honorary firefighter, was sworn in as a K9 officer, and  the Grand Marshall of the Franklin Fall Festival parade in a convertible for HSJC. Howard has 3 more items on his bucket list that need to be completed.  An upscale dinner at the Revery, a canine massage, and the largest of all a campaign for HOWARD GIVES BACK.”

The humane society says Howard wants more terminally ill animals to be able to have the end of life he has had the pleasure of having, so he would like to raise $10,000 for his fellow four-legged friends to carry out his legacy.

Additionally, the humane society says Howard loves meeting people, and they are inviting everyone to come to their office to see him. The recommend calling 317-535-6626 first to see if he is in the office.

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