Close

Funds needed for U.S. Air Force Airman whose dogs were trapped in a house fire

Cache (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

Cache (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

TAMPA — Three dogs are in the intensive care unit at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital after they were trapped in a house fire in Tampa Friday.

The dogs all suffered severe smoke inhalation during the fire and are currently receiving emergency oxygen.  The dogs are Cache, a 2-year-old German shepherd; Cyl, a 1-year-old chow mix; and Emma, a 7-year-old Jack Russell Terrier.

Their owner, Alexander Rodriguez, a Senior Airman in the U.S. Air Force, rushed them to BluePearl  after coming home to find his rental house in

Cyl (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

Cyl (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

the 2400 block of West Carmen St. had caught fire during the day, causing structural damage to the kitchen and smoke damage to the rest of the house.

“When I got home, I didn’t know what was going on but I saw that my blinds had melted and there was smoke everywhere,” Rodriguez said. “I was in a state of shock. It didn’t seem real to me.”

Dr. Lee Burstiner, a senior clinician with BluePearl who treated the dogs overnight Friday, said all three are in critical condition. “We’re still waiting to see the extent of their lung injuries,” he said. “That will determine how long they will need to be hospitalized.”

Treatment for smoke inhalation is expensive because it requires around-the-clock monitoring and intensive oxygen therapy.  Rodriguez said he couldn’t afford the cost for all three dogs, so Frankie’s Friends pet charity is stepping in to help raise money.

Those interested in contributing are encouraged to click here.

“Our hearts go out to Airman Rodriguez, particularly in light of the valuable service he has given our country,” said Bonita Voiland, executive director of Frankie’s Friends. “That’s why we’re asking the public to help us ensure he has a happy holiday season with his beloved dogs by his side.”

Emma (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

Emma (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)