A young Staffordshire terrier is lucky to be alive after the kennel she was in caught fire in Red Deer.
The dog was left outside in a plastic dog carrier overnight recently. Her owner had attached a heating lamp to the carrier as a way to keep the dog warm.
After some time, the bulb caused the plastic to melt and the dog was trapped inside with no means of escape.
“This is the first time we’ve ever seen anything like this at Alberta Animal Services,” said Erica Coomber, shelter administrator for Riverside Kennels and Alberta Animal Services. “I’ve never seen any wounds on a dog like this in my life.”
Before the dog was rescued, the kennel caught on fire from the heat of the lamp. The dog suffered second and third degree burns on her body and feet from the heat and also from the melting plastic that was dripping on her body.
“The heat was so intense that the blanket in the kennel was actually melted to her feet,” said Don Elliott, municipal enforcement supervisor with Alberta Animal Services.
After the incident, the owner of the dog called Alberta Animal Services and requested the pup be picked up as she was in a lot of pain and he had no one else who would assist him so late at night, said Elliott.
“This isn’t the type of call that we usually deal with as it isn’t related to animal control,” he said adding that Alberta Animal Services maintains 24-hour emergency on call officers for the City of Red Deer.
Elliott made the decision to pick up the dog as she was suffering and took her to their facility where a veterinarian technician was waiting to assess her.
The dog’s owner was charged for bylaw violations under the City of Red Deer dog bylaw.
After having no contact from the owner in a significant amount of time, as of late last week the dog had been transferred to the Calgary Humane Society where she is being treated with hydrotherapy for her burns.
“They will also have to make sure she’s on antibiotics to prevent infection and her wounds will have to be cleaned everyday,” said Coomber.
She added people need to take precautions when trying to ensure a pet is warm in cooler temperatures.
“No heating source should ever really be used in a confined space,” said Coomber. “But in all honesty don’t think any dog in the climate we live in should ever be left outside. It’s too cold here. Dogs should be brought inside.”
Elliott added Alberta Animal Services is currently investigating the incident. The owner’s name has not been released.