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He nearly died in a house fire, now this dog is comforting burn victims

Taka the canine burn victim with owner dog-happy
© Care More Animal Hospital - Facebook

Meet 9-year-old Shiba Inu, Taka. He was badly burned in a house fire last year but is recovering well. In fact, he has recently passed his exam to become a burns therapy dog.

By Nick Whittle , 17 Aug 2019

In October 2018 Taka was asleep in the porch of his home in Georgia when a fire broke out. His family escaped without injury but Taka had to be rescued from the inferno by a neighbour. As a result of his being locked inside, Taka received horrific injuries and lost the power of sight. 

The dog was rushed to Care More Animal Hospital in Martinez, Georgia where he was given quick and advanced treatments to save his life. Over the course of the next few months the staff of the hospital fell in love with the animal.

Taka’s family visited him on occasion but in the end decided that they would not be able to give him the care he needed. Subsequently, one of the vets of the hospital, Crystal Lesley, was keen to adopt the poorly animal. However Ms Lesley was aware that Taka had, due to his experience, become fearful of other dogs and at times exhibited aggression.


Taka’s new mom

Posted by Care More Animal Hospital on Friday, January 4, 2019


Canine Training Project

Lesley learned about a local training programme called Canine Training Project which specialises in training dogs of all ages. Lesley began to consider the possibility that Taka’s behaviour could be ironed out, even at the ripe old age of nine.

As Taka’s training continued, and his behaviour improved Lesley was urged to enrol Taka in additional training to become a therapy dog. The animal had shown willing and aptitude for human contact, and it seemed only right that recovering from disfiguring burns Taka could help others to overcome their injuries. 


Crystal giving Taka one last kiss

Posted by Care More Animal Hospital on Friday, January 4, 2019


On July 26th this year Taka passed his Canine Good Citizen test. 

CTP founder, Mandy Foster told WRDW News, “He’s got the right temperament for it. Of course he has the scars to show for it and he can relate to a lot of the people there so I think it’s going to benefit both him and the patients there.”


Update on Taka: His new home did not work out unfortunately. So I (Crystal Lesley) have decided to adopt him myself. I work at Care More and Taka has been living with me since the beginning of Dec. I have been involved in his care since day 1 so it seemed only natural that I keep him. He gets along with my dogs and fits into my home well. I will start a FB page for him soon and will let you all know when it’s up and running. Just wanted to share a little video I took of him this afternoon. I’d say Taka is happy and doing well!!! ??

Posted by Care More Animal Hospital on Tuesday, January 8, 2019