TV viewer rescues dog burned in Dallas fire

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by JASON WHITELY

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonwhitely

WFAA

Posted on September 20, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Updated Tuesday, Nov 12 at 10:49 PM

DALLAS — Had it not been for Rosemary Ramirez, a four-year-old Chihuahua named Goofy likely wouldn't have survived such severe burns.

"The doctors are saving him," Ramirez, 67, said. "I just got him where he needed to be."

She has a special place in her heart for animals, and was determined to save this dog.

"He was in hell with all those burns," she said. "Now he's in heaven, here with the doctor."

The dog escaped on its own from a horrific house fire in Oak Cliff on Sunday night.

Goofy's owners suffered their own severe burns. Domingo and Julia Mendez and their five-year-old son, Juan, face at least three months of care in Parkland Hospital's burn unit, relatives told News 8.

On Monday, News 8 showed images of the dog and reported that the Mendez's relatives intended to take Goofy to a veterinarian while also dealing with their own family tragedy.

But the following day, Ramirez, worried about the dog's fate, discovered no one had done so.

She doesn't know the family; she doesn't even live nearby. Ramirez just saw the story on TV and drove to her neighborhood fire station to get the address of the burned house.

Ramirez then searched for 30 minutes Tuesday morning until she found the dog nearby.

"I was going like this: 'Here puppy!," she said.

Ramirez found Goofy in a neighbor's yard and got the pet to her own vet before noon that day.

Despite singed fur, ear tips likely to fall off, and burns on 40 percent of his body, veterinarians said Goofy's prognosis is good, and he has no respiratory problems from smoke inhalation.

"He's been very affectionate. Not a growl. Not a snap through any of the treatment or blood draws at all," said Casa Linda Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Tamara Johnson. "He's done remarkably well and, like I said, he's even eating."

The burned dog faces at least a week at the vet along with pain medication, antibiotics and fluids.

Ramirez works two part-time jobs to pay for his care, and said she wants to return the dog to the family as soon as he's ready to go home.

Over the years, the veterinarian said Ramirez has brought in 59 cats and dogs for care.

She's now investing in a dog that she doesn't own — but can't bear to see suffer.

To help Ms. Ramirez pay for Goofy's veterinary care, contact Casa Linda Animal Clinic at 214-328-5445 or www.casalindaanimalclinic.com.

E-mail jwhitely@wfaa.com

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