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Community helps terrier burned in truck fire

Scooby, who suffered severe burns in a truck fire, is being treated at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Blaine, Minn.

BLAINE, Minn. – After fire broke out inside the cab of a truck, a black and white terrier named Scooby suffered severe burns that damaged his paws and nose and nearly burned off his ears.

But Scooby is a fighter, and so are the Minnesota animal lovers who are contributing money to pay for Scooby’s care.

Scooby has spent more than a week recuperating at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital in Blaine, and needs surgery to remove his burned ears. The nationwide charity Frankie’s Friends is now seeking donations to pay for Scooby’s care.

“We are all heartbroken to hear of this traumatic event,” said Danielle Martin, executive director of Frankie’s Friends. “Scooby is an adorable dog who means so much to his family, and we’re just hoping to provide them with some peace and comfort. We’re confident that with the community’s help, we’ll be able to assist this family in their time of need.” A fundraising page for Scooby has been set up here.

It all started on March 8, when Tammy Brooks and Brad Spangler went to a food pantry in Cambridge to pick up some necessities. They left Scooby and Brooks’ other dog, a Chihuahua named Smoky, in the cab of the truck with one window open.

As they loaded their food into the back, Brooks heard a popping sound and then saw smoke billowing from the open window.

Spangler immediately opened the door and Smoky hopped out, but for whatever reason, Scooby would not come out as quickly, and suffered third-degree burns.

“The white part of his fur was no longer white, his fur was just charred and he was having trouble breathing,” Brooks said. She was scared, because she loves 3-year-old Scooby so much “he’s like one of my sons.”

Scooby received treatment at a Cambridge veterinary clinic and was then transferred to BluePearl for more extensive care. BluePearl employs several veterinary specialists who have received years of additional training in emergency and critical care, oncology, ophthalmology and other disciplines.

One of those specialists is Dr. Kathryn Kaufman, a board-certified veterinary surgeon.  She treated Scooby for severe dehydration. She also sedated Scooby and removed melted plastic from Scooby’s paws. The pads of his paws and his nose are both damaged.

So are Scooby’s ears. There is now so much dead tissue on Scooby’s ears that they will need to be surgically removed. While that will affect his appearance, the good news is that Scooby’s hearing is fine and he should bounce back with no trouble after recuperating from the surgery.

“He’ll have a full and complete recovery,” Kaufman said. “I think he has a great prognosis.”

The cause of the fire is not known, although Brooks said it appeared to begin near a console between the two front bucket seats.

Because of financial difficulties, Brooks does not have funds for Scooby’s veterinary care and has not even been able to make the drive down to Blaine to see him. “I just hope he doesn’t think we abandoned him,” she said.

She said it bothered her at first to think of strangers providing charitable contributions to her dog, but now she’s grateful for the help and looking forward to the day that she’ll be financially able to help others in a similar way.

“My mom told me that there are people that do care and are who are animal lovers just like me,” she said. “We’re glad for the help.”