Editor’s note: The first couple of photos below are pretty graphic, so viewer discretion is advised.
In March, someone doused a puppy named Hope, a Shar-Pei mix, in kerosene, lit a match, and threw it on her. She was chained up in the yard of a man named Larry Wallace. He was home; a neighborhood boy said later that he noticed a dog on fire and rolling on the ground, and then he saw Wallace throw water on the dog.
Hope had burns covering half her body. Authorities arrived and the dog was brought to BluePearl Veterinary in Tampa.
“She won’t be normal, ever,” veterinarian John Gicking told Fox News in March. “She’ll have significant scarring. She has a long road ahead of her, including numerous surgeries she’s going to need down the road, as well as a long-term healing for her skin.”
The man who owns Hope, Larry Wallace, said he didn’t set her on fire, even though the dog’s living area, a shed, smelled like gasoline, and police found a gas can on the site. Wallace was taken in for questioning and released, according to the Daily Mail.
“I don’t know what happened to the dog,” Wallace told WFLA.
That was on March 20. On Monday, police arrested him and booked him into DeSoto County Jail. He faces charges charges of arson and animal abuse, both felonies. It’s not clear yet what led prosecutors to look again at Wallace, but good thing they did. Before his arrest, Wallace had been fighting to get the dog back after her treatment.
As for that treatment, Hope’s recovery has amazed doctors at BluePearl Veterinary, but she still has a long way to go. Most of her body is still covered in bandages. Her corneas were burned and they filled with fluid — the first week, she got eye drops around the clock due to concerns about her eyes rupturing. Her vision is foggy but may improve further, and she is expected to retain vision in both eyes. Her doctor says her eyes have made significant improvement in the past week and are in the best shape they’ve seen them.
“As the eye continues with the healing process, her eye is attempting to grow blood vessels to try to heal the center of her cornea where the most damage was done, “ said Dr. Tammy Miller Michau, a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist.
Look at these amazing images of how Hope looks now:
Here’s a video showing her treatment.
People interested in donating to Hope’s care should make donations directly to the Hardee Animal Rescue Team, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, via its website.
Read more about the bond between humans and dogs on Dogster: