A puppy who was set on fire on the East Side on Monday is being treated at a downtown animal clinic, but doctors are not sure whether he will make a full recovery.
The yet-to-be-named Jack Russell terrier was burned from head to toe, possibly with an accelerant. The veterinarian treating him at Buffalo Small Animal Hospital is encouraged by the progress he is making so far, but warned that a full recovery is not ensured.
Police are investigating and have not made any arrests in connection with the crime.
The puppy was noticed in the 200 block of Herman Street late Monday afternoon and was still on fire when the Buffalo Fire Department arrived. Firefighters, responding to a 911 call, wrapped him in a blanket and transferred him to animal-control officers. He arrived at the animal clinic about 30 minutes later.
Third-degree burns cover 30 percent of the dog’s body – on his eyes, ears, thighs and knees – but his health care providers are encouraged that he has perked up and is eating.
That’s quite a difference from when he arrived and was white from being in shock. His color is returning, said Rebecca Wagner, a veterinarian.
The next five to seven days will be critical for the dog’s recovery, and a lot of his hide will be lost, Wagner said.
The dog is being treated with antibiotics and pain medication and is being kept hydrated, while clinic staff members monitor his response to treatment, Wagner said.
“Puppies rebound very well,” Wagner said, adding that the goal is to get the dog healthy and into a good home.
When the dog arrived at the clinic, he had a strong odor.
It could have been lighter fluid, Wagner said, but she wasn’t sure and was leaving that question up to the authorities.
“How could somebody do this?” Wagner said. “It’s a terrible, terrible situation.”
No one has claimed the puppy, and no arrests have been made, said police spokesman Michael J. DeGeorge.
He declined to comment on the investigation.
The City of Buffalo animal shelter is paying for the dog’s treatment.
Wagner said animal clinic staff members are deciding on a name for the puppy.