Amazing fire survivor senior dog becomes therapy pup for burn victims

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An amazing Shiba Inu named Taka had been asleep at his home in Georgia when a fire started and spread. The family awoke and fled, but the raging flames trapped their nine-year-old dog on the porch. Fortunately, Taka was able to break free and ran from the inferno, but not without sustaining serious burn injuries. A neighbor rushed the dog to the veterinarian hospital.

According to the Care More Animal Hospital, Taka suffered burns to his eyes, mouth, ears and abdomen. His owners were not able to afford the expensive treatment Taka would need and surrendered him to the hospital.

Dr. Emily Martin and the staff fell in love with the dog; Dr. Martin began bringing Taka home with her in the evenings for special care and of course some love. And after several weeks of care, love and special handling, Taka was ready to continue his recovery at a foster home.

Vet tech, Chrystal Lesley stepped in to care for Taka, and although the dog didn’t make friends with other dogs, he sure loved to be around people. And that is when The Canine Training Project came into play.

“[Older dogs] can be trained just like any other dog. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer, but in Taka’s case he’s nine years old and he has flown through his training. He’s brilliant.”

Mandy Foster, founder of CTP

Chrystal adopted Taka, and after his amazing completion and success with the training program, decided he would be an excellent therapy dogs for other burn victims. How many people thought Chrystal, who have been victims of horrible fires and have suffered the scars and emotional issues, could identify with Taka?

Taka passed the course and has since been an integral partner comforting burn patients. According to the, Taka took the CGC test and passed.

If you’re interested in training your dog to become a therapy dog, the first step is Canine Good Citizen training. Find a CGC class or evaluator near you.

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1 reply
  1. Elaine says:

    Owners should not have to surrender their dogs to veterinary hospitals in order to get them treated. Is that vet about the dogs and the animals or about making money. Bad enough to lose their home and everything they owned but they also have to lose their dog because somebody only saw dollar signs


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