A Broward County, Fla. man is recuperating from second-degree burns he received when he saved his dog by scooping it up and jumping headlong into the family pool after his wife had managed to set the dog on fire.
The freak incident occurred on Tuesday night, reports NBC Miami.
The dog’s owners are a married couple, Telma Botcherby and Jess Olivas. The dog is named Ruby.
Botcherby was treating Ruby with a slather of flea and tick spray when she spotted a live tick that had fallen the floor. Botcherby tried to kill the tick by burning it with a lighter.
According to a report from the Broward Sheriff’s Office, “the dog got spooked and ran and jumped” in the spot where Botcherby was attempting to burn the tick. “The dog then burst into flames.”
Botcherby cried out for her husband. Olivas showed up and took evasive action. He grabbed Ruby in his arms and made a mad dash for the swimming pool.
It’s not clear how far Olivas was from the swimming pool when he picked up the burning dog.
Olivas was hurt pretty badly. He has second-degree burns over roughly 20 percent of his body including his arms, chest and face.
Ruby was hurt even worse. She is in great pain, too sore to sit down and sometimes shaking. Veterinary technician Jamie Duffey told NBC Miami that the dog’s coat was “all singed at the tips” and had to be shaven virtually entirely off.
What’s worse, Botcherby and Olivas didn’t have the money to take Ruby to an emergency pet clinic when the incident occurred. They had to wait until the next morning to go to Dr. Peter’s Animal Hospital.
Dr. Peter Krolikowski said that Olivas likely saved the dog’s life.
Krolikowski is currently treating Ruby with antibiotics and the canine equivalent of morphine, notes local Fox affiliate WSVN. Skin grafts are likely in the coming days as well.
Both Olivas and Ruby are expected to make full recoveries.