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Dachshund Survives for Weeks Inside Burned Down House
Miracle pup Lola is on the mend
Terisa Acevedo with Lola at Angell Animal Medical Center.

The miracle dog of Boston who survived for nearly a month inside the charred ruins of her owner’s burned down home is expected to make a full recovery.

 
Terisa Acevedo found Lola, her one-year-old longhaired dachshund, on Monday when she returned to her fire-ravaged duplex to silence the alarm on a Ford Explorer she’d left parked in the driveway.
 
“I was standing on the porch and I heard Lola scratching on the door,” Acevedo told Bark. “My boyfriend was with me and he pried the wood off the front door. When I saw her, I fell to my knees and started screaming and crying. I was so happy.”
 
Acevedo wasn’t home when the February 23 blaze engulfed her duplex, which is located in Boston’s Hyde Park neighborhood. When she arrived, the 24-year-old emergency medical technician (EMT) asked firefighters if they’d seen her dog. They hadn’t.
 
“A couple days after the fire, police officers took sniffing dogs through the house and they didn’t pick up (the scent of) any remains of animals,” Acevedo said. “I thought Lola had run away. I made flyers and gave them to all the vets in the area and posted them all over Hyde Park.”
 
Acevedo also went back to the duplex several times, but never found any signs of the tiny dachshund.
 
“I cried for her every day,” Acevedo said. “I was so devastated. But I never gave up hope.”
 
Acevedo’s tears of sadness turned to joy on Monday when she discovered the much thinner Lola trapped inside the remains of her fire-damaged home. “I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
 
Veterinarians at Boston’s Angell Animal Medical Center, who treated the malnourished and dehydrated dachshund, released the “incredibly lucky” pooch on Thursday afternoon.
 
“She’d lost a tremendous amount of weight when she came here on Monday,” spokesman Brian Adams said. “She might not have survived much longer. But she’s a trooper, a true survivor. And her story of survival is simply amazing.”
 
Lola, however, still has one more health issue to overcome. Veterinarians discovered she had a condition called refeeding syndrome.
 
“If she was fed too quickly or improperly she could face life-threatening results,” Adams said. “She was given her first bit of food on Wednesday and will remain on a restricted diet at home. She will receive 16 grams of wet food, which is the equivalent to one teaspoon, every six hours as her body once again becomes accustomed to nourishment.”
 
Acevedo is confident that her best friend will make a complete recovery. “She’ll be okay,” she said. “She’s playful like always. She’s still Lola.”
 
But how did the little dog survive this ordeal? What did she do for food and water? “The police investigators said there was a refrigerator on the other side of the duplex that tipped over during the fire,” Acevedo said. “They think maybe she ran over there looking for food. They saw some chicken by that refrigerator. She might have eaten some cat food, too.”
 
What about water? “It might have come from the firemen who were trying to put out the fire,” Acevedo said. “The house was soaked.”
 
Acevedo hopes Lola’s story of survival will inspire others who’ve lost a pet. “Don’t give up hope when times are rough or when you’re down,” she said. “You just never know what will happen.
 
“I’m just so happy and excited that’s she’s here…next to me. And now I don’t plan to let her out of my sight.”

 

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Lisa McCormick is an award-winning investigative reporter whose stories have appeared in Dogs for Kids magazine, The Kansas City Star, and the national consumer news website, ConsumerAffairs.com; she has written 12 nonfiction children's books.

Photo courtesy Angell Animal Medical Center.

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