After Surviving A House Fire, This Good Boy Is Now A Therapy Dog For Burn Victims

January 20, 2021

In October 2018, Taka was burned so badly in a house fire that most thought he wouldn't make it.

Today, he is working as a therapy dog for children in the burn unit.

dog burned in fire therapy dog

9-year-old Taka, a Shiba Inu, was severely injured in the house fire. The family had time to get their kids out, but there was no time to go back in for Taka. Luckily, Taka was able to run to a neighbor's house.

With deep burns to his head, face, back, and extremities, he needed round-the-clock care.

Because of the medical care Taka needed, his previous owners signed him over to the vets. They chose not to get him back due to his injuries and not being able to care for him properly.

"I had been taking him home with me every day, so eventually I realized I couldn't part with him," said Crystal Lesley, a veterinarian at Care More Animal Hospital. That's when Taka officially became Lesley's. "After months of recovery and the impact he had on the community. I was approached by a nurse at the burn center about Taka coming in to visit burned children, in hopes of giving them something to relate to."

dog burned in fire therapy dog

Lesley knew Taka was perfect for the job.

"He loves kids and people," she said. "I thought about it and decided that he was too special not to share him with the world."

Taka took his therapy dog training test and passed with flying colors.

"To see that he could be an encouragement or at least a light at the end of the tunnel for a child or anybody that has gone through what he's gone through is what all of this is about," Lesley said.

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