A false judgment could keep a lost pet from returning home

I am a strong believer in education. And, I am a strong believer that often times, we learn from relating to personal stories from people we know.

If you are a follower of our journey here in Missouri Lost & Found Paws, you know that one of the activities we have a zero tolerance for is judging others.

One of the most common judgments we see is jumping to conclusions about a pet’s physical appearance.

I would like to share a personal story with you. This is Rufas. I came to know him 8 years ago as he belongs to my ex. Rufas is now a 12.5 year old mastiff/lab mix topping in at 94 lbs. He often lives with me along with his sis, Kandi, a doxie.

Rufas has been diagnosed with osteocarcoma a few weeks back. I took him to Mizzou to identify our options. I am pursuing palliative care for him which means pain management. He has a significant lump on his right front leg, at the site of the cancer in his bone. This is not a tumor but rather his body reacting to the pain from the cancer. He was on 4 weeks of pain meds before heading to Mizzou.

He had radiation therapy ten days ago for pain management. The swelling has decreased about 30%.

Why am I sharing his story? If he was lost and then found, and given the comments I often see in our group, I am rather convinced he would be deemed ‘neglected’ by an outsider. I can tell you with certainty he is not. People would jump to the conclusion that he has an ignored growth or tumor. It is not a tumor you are seeing. This is a soft tissue swelling due to pain that the meds were not effective enough to treat.

My running medical bills also prove that he is not neglected. His ailment is not ignored. He is not suffering. He is not forgotten.

He is sick. He is being managed. He is loved. He is being monitored closely by his docs. He is fighting cancer.

Please. Do not assume lumps and bumps mean a found pet is grossly neglected. Sometimes, the kindest thing we can do is to manage pain until the scenario worsens.

Give all found pets, especially the ones found in questionable state, a chance to be reunited with their loved ones. They deserve to be with their loved ones in their final months, weeks or days.


Shuma, President, Missouri Lost & Found Paws


–with his sis, Kandi


–with his step sis, Mollie


— at Mizzou for consultation


— this is not a tumor, but rather soft tissue swelling resulting from pain due to the ineffectiveness of weeks of pain medications


— reduction in tissue swelling ten days after radiation therapy

Please. Don’t judge. Help us get lost pets home..


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.