Puppy that survived severe burns now training to become therapy dog at children’s hospitals

The pup has already had at least 50 procedures, and he has more to come. But he’s a survivor.

Puppy recovering from severe burns to become therapy dog for children

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - After surviving severe burns, a dog at the center of an animal cruelty investigation could soon be helping others by working as a therapy dog.

Romee is just 7 months, but he’s already been through a lot in his life. Ray Anderson with Cincinnati Animal CARE Humane Society says the lab-shepherd mix is a survivor.

Romee showed up at the Anderson Hill Animal Care Hospital in September 2020 with numerous severe burns.

The Hamilton County Dog Warden was contacted and launched an investigation. The warden now believes that after Romee was somehow burned, his former owner let him suffer without vet care for at least five days.

“I have seen the photos from September, when he first got in, and they are pretty shocking,” Anderson said. “Looks like this was some kind of burn, most likely maybe boiling water or oil, very well could’ve been accidental, but then when you’re not seeking vet care, that’s when it becomes neglect.”

Romee’s former owner has since been charged and convicted.

According to Anderson, Romee has a long road of recovery ahead. The pup has already had at least 50 procedures, and he has more to come.

Anderson describes Romee as a sweet and special dog, adding that one of the animal hospital employees has already adopted him.

“He had like a fever of 104 degrees when he first got there, and he was obviously, clearly in pain, but still the resiliency of dogs. Was still very sweet and affectionate,” Anderson said. “Pretty amazing dog to watch. He’s very well-behaved, very mild-mannered, seeks affection.”

Romee’s new forever family believes he has a bright future ahead of him. They are going to have him undergo training to become a therapy dog for burn units at children’s hospitals.

“They [children] can see a dog who is going through something similar or has gone through something similar that they’re going to, and I think that’s gonna, once he gets there, he’s gonna lift a lot of spirits,” Anderson said.

Anderson says it is not clear how long it will be before Romee’s training is complete.

The name of Romee’s former owner who was charged and convicted has not been released.

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