A chocolate Lab – badly burned and near death after a Buffalo house fire – has begun to perk up and eat hot dogs and dog food. But her medical bills are mounting.

“She just started showing some signs of life when we presented her with peanut butter,” said Gina M. Browning, director of public relations for the SPCA Serving Erie County. “Quite frankly, we didn’t know if she would make it through the weekend.”

The Labrador retriever named Rocsi – pronounced Roxy – got caught in a fire on Eagle Street almost three weeks ago while visiting the house of a dog friend, who also managed to get out, Browning said.

The dogs and adults and children fled the house in the early morning of May 2. Browning was told that cats and a small dog did not survive.

Until last week, Rocsi’s owner was able to pay medical bills. Last Wednesday, the woman brought her pet to the SPCA because she could no longer afford the extensive care required.

“The dog was literally covered in open wounds,” Browning said.

Continuing to treat Rocsi could cost thousands of dollars, and the SPCA hopes to cover the expense with contributions. Those who would like to help by donating money, medicine or bandages should visit or call 629-3523.

“We have to give this dog a chance when it looked like she had the will to survive,” Browning said.

However, if Rocsi’s condition deteriorates, the SPCA will not try to prolong her life.

“We’re not going to let her suffer,” Browning said. “We are a humane society.”