Lucy, a four-year-old pit bull, suffered serious burns attempting to shield her two puppies from a fire that engulfed the makeshift crate they were sleeping in. Lucy is expected to make a full recovery and will soon be looking for a new family.
Saturday, Lucy was sleeping with her two pups and a male dog in a makeshift crate in the backyard of their owner’s home in Norwalk, Connecticut. A space heater had been placed inside with the dogs which ignited a tarp on top of the crate. Lucy desperately tried to protect her 2-month-old puppies from the flames but was unable to save them.
Lucy was brought to VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center and into the care of Dr. John Anastasio. “She has burns on the right side of her body her right shoulder, trunk, hind leg and she lost the pads on her paws,” said Anastasio. “But the good thing is she is a tough pup and is expected to recover 100 percent.” Lucy currently has bandages over ninety percent of her body.
Lucy’s owner allegedly was going to put her down because of the high costs of her care. That’s when the rescue group Outreach to Pets in Need (OPIN) stepped in to adopt her and cover her medical costs. “The fire is a travesty, no dog should be left outside in the winter,” said Ali Girardi of OPIN. “I spoke with the owners and they do appear to be upset. This isn’t a blame game, but the main issue is the dogs should not have been outdoors to begin with.”
Lucy’s owner, Pablo Ortiz, has been charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, two counts of having unlicensed dogs, and two counts of failing to vaccinate dogs for rabies. He will appear in court on February 6th.
Meanwhile, Lucy continues to receive around the clock care at VCA Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center. “She is loved here,” said Anastasio. “She is being given pain control medication and has gotten through the worst of it. There will be scars for sure, but she has a good prognosis.”
Lucy’s medical costs have already reached $5,000. OPIN has set up a fund for Lucy’s treatment and has raised $2,100 so far. Once Lucy makes a full recovery she will be looking for a new family. If interested in adopting Lucy you can request information by sending an e-mail to [email protected].