Sir Lancelot, dog hero, loses cancer fight

VENTURA, CA -- A little more than a year ago, many Ventura County residents lost their hearts to a black-and-tan canine hero dubbed Sir Lancelot.

They sent thousands of dollars and hundreds of cards to the dog credited with protecting his pups in the wild when rescuers found him in Santa Clarita after a brushfire.

And the public watched anxiously for each news report about his brave fight against cancer, the eventual amputation of his leg, and then his training to correct behavioral problems later determined to be likely linked to pain.

His fight came to an end Tuesday afternoon, when members of Animal Rescue Volunteers took him to be euthanized at Valley Veterinary Clinic in Simi Valley.

''He's in pain, his quality of life has gone,'' said Jenny Abshire, founder of ARV, who spearheaded numerous fund-raisers and the eventual establishment of the Sir Lancelot Medical Fund.

''We're not looking forward to today,'' Abshire said Tuesday morning in tears, explaining that the dog's cancer had spread.

Lancelot was ARV's first major project. Since then, because of the generosity of people donating to the Sir Lancelot Medical Fund, ARV has been able to help countless animals that others would have shunned.