BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The puppy that was burned last month is improving. The Buffalo Animal Shelter reports "Phoenix" is improving, eating, and moving around.
His caretakers say Phoenix is comfortable, and with his little doggy outfit, almost resembles a little person lounging around the hospital.
"[He] wags his tail, barks at the other dogs. So I think all-in-all, he knows we're trying to help him," said Dr. Rebecca Wagner of the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital.
Doctors are trying to help him rise from his ashes, like his namesake in Greek mythology, after he was set on fire by someone in an east-side neighborhood. Bandages extend to his feet and his burnt ears being treated. Phoenix still appears to be squinting because the hair is singed around his eyes.
And there are still some fears.
"The biggest concern for me right now is the left hind leg. The Achilles tendon is exposed and we're trying to save it. If we don't have any good scar tissue, he may need his leg amputated. So that's the biggest concern right now," Dr. Wagner said.
Wagner says the 16-week-old Jack Russell Terrier will need surgery soon, possibly by the end of the week, to remove more dead skin. All told, his surgeries will cost about $8,000. But generous donors have already given enough to cover it all. And Phoenix continues to make progress.
"I think he's good. The first day he was a little nervous but then he started giving Judy, our technician, kisses. And she's been taking very good care of him," Dr. Wagner said.
The Animal Hospital has received thousands of dollars in donations, which will also help other animals. Buffalo Police still haven't arrested anyone for burning Phoenix. Detectives say they are "making progress."
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