Chihuahua recovering nicely following removal of giant tumor

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MERRIAM, Kan. –  They were photos that captured the compassion of animal lovers.

Earlier this week, FOX 4 News introduced you to Foxy the Chihuahua, the little dog with a gigantic tumor on its underside. Great Plains SPCA posted Foxy's photos to social media, and within hours, they were seen by thousands of big-hearted dog lovers.

The biggest source of pain for Foxy is gone. On Wednesday, veterinarians removed a humongous tumor from the dog's belly. Foxy weighs around five to six pounds. The tumor, in and of itself, weighed three.

Rachel Hodgson at Great Plains SPCA says vets at her animal welfare agency had never seen such a large tumor, especially on a tiny dog. Hodgson says Foxy was also emaciated and dehydrated, after a good Samaritan brought her in for care.

“We're afraid that someone who saw this happening wasn't taking care of it, or weren't able to take care of it, so they left her somewhere in a public place,” Hodgson said.

Great Plains took Foxy in on Monday and posted her photos -- along with the giant tumor -- to Facebook. It didn't take long for hundreds of animal lovers to comment, share and donate.

“So many people have fallen in love with Foxy just like we have,” Hodgson said. “We got donations to help with her medical costs. We got blankets sent in to her. She got little cards and all kinds of things.”

Dr. Heath Brown is a veterinarian with Great Plains SPCA. He's been giving aid to sick animals for years, but the big tumor surprised him.

“The tumor was coming off her underside  on the left side,” Dr. Brown told FOX 4 News. “It was fairly elongated and a lot of loose skin and it was spread out quite a bit covering a large surface area.”

“She's just so small,” Hodgson said. “You have to fight for the underdog. She's the underdog. She's overcoming all of this.”

Hodgson says Foxy will go to a foster home on Friday. That's where potential new owners will find if Foxy is a good fit for their family.

Foxy may have found a home, but leaders at Great Plains say their shelter has more. Hodgson says that agency has scores of great pets ready to be adopted.