TAMPA, Fla.- Hope is the one-year-old mixed breed dog who suffered burns all over her body after someone lit her on fire in Arcadia. WINK News traveled to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Tampa to check on Hope's recovery.
She's been there for about a week in the intensive care unit, after Hardee Animal Rescue Team, or HART, rescued the dog from Arcadia.
Vets say Hope's progress and recovery have been amazing.
"She has a wonderful personality, particularly for what she's been through," says Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Helga Bleyaert. "Her comfort level is very good so she's really coming along nicely since the first we saw her. Her skin is starting to heal."
Hope wears a coat of bandages covering her scorched skin, and socks cover her paws. "She continues to improve everyday. In spirit, in her healing, she continues to improve everyday," says Leigh Sockalosky, a member of HART. She drives an hour and a half daily to visit and care for Hope while she is in BluePearl's care.
Dr. Bleyaert says the worst part of Hope's journey is now over, and this is one of the worst burn cases she's seen. Everyday, vets change her bandages and perform specialized laser therapy which increases blood flow to her skin to help her heal. "Some of the things we see here that look so horrible to begin with, they have an amazing capability to heal themselves so don't give up, always," she says.
Sockalosky agrees. "She's got a lot of angels caring for her, and we do appreciate it. We're still not out of the woods but I do see that each day is more promising, that she is recovering so we're ready for her to be completely healed and walk out and greet everybody and say look at me, I overcame it. Don't give up."
People from across the globe have donated to Hope's recovery fund, raising more than $40,000. Vets say Hope may be able to go home in about a month but her treatment will last much longer after that. You can still help toward that fund, just look for the link under hotlinks on our website.
Authorities are still investigating the case.