Dog survives fire, reunites with ownerPublished 3:48pm Friday, July 27, 2012
EDWARDSBURG — Edwardsburg’s Pam Fisette received several sloppy kisses from her 11-month-old pit bull mix, Maya, in the grass outside East Shore Animal Hospital in Edwardsburg Thursday morning.
Between kisses, Maya let out a few raspy coughs before going about her business. Fisette said Maya is still experiencing side effects from inhaling smoke from a fire that nearly took her life Monday.
“The vet said she could get pneumonia, but she is on the right path,” Fisette said. “I’m not supposed to get her too worked up.”
Maya is the only dog of 14 that survived an electrical fire in the Fisette’s home near Garver Lake in Edwardsburg Monday afternoon.
A neighbor broke in the front door and dragged out Maya, who, at the time, wasn’t breathing but had a heart beat.
When Maya finally came to, she ran away. Neighbors found her later that night hiding with a cat under a boat next door.
“We’re lucky to still have her. She’s been a good girl,” Fisette said.
All 13 of the Fisette’s other dogs died of smoke inhalation.
Most were old or sick dogs that Pam and her husband, Damon, had rescued from nearby animal shelters. Some dogs had been with them a short time, while others, such as Peanut, had been in the family for more than a decade.
Peanut, a seizure-prone schnauzer, was about to be put down when the Fisettes found her around 12 years ago.
“I told him you don’t put people to sleep because they have seizures — why are you putting her to sleep?” Pam said. “So we took her.”
Peanut was in the living room with the rest of the dogs when the fire started for an undetermined reason near the electric stove in the kitchen around 4 p.m. Pam was at work and her husband was out running errands.
The fire didn’t get much past the kitchen before it was extinguished. The flames never reached the dogs.
“One comfort I have is I know they didn’t suffer,” Pam said. “I was told there were toxic fumes that rendered them unconscious first so they didn’t suffer when the smoke inhalation took them.”
Pam said they are having the dogs cremated through Faithful Friends in Elkhart. They will receive a clay pawprint made from the paw of each dog: Peanut; Belle, a bichon; Munchkin, a terrier mix; Frosty, a bichon mix; Tinkerbell, a bichon mix; Taz, a terrier mix; Buddy, a cocker spaniel mix; Casper, a yorkie; Shayna, a boston terrier; Lady, a mix; Hunter, a beagle; and Lucy, a schnauzer.
The Fisettes plan to begin adopting again once their home is fixed. For now, it’s just Pam, Damon and Maya.
“Give your dogs a hug and take care of them because you never know how long you might have them,” Pam said.