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Dog Critically Injured in Fire Faces Uncertain Future

BOSTON, July 11, 2014 – Five-year-old Pomeranian-mix “Papi” was critically injured in a three-alarm fire in Lawrence, Mass. on June 21 and now—after two weeks of care at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston and major reconstructive surgery—doctors are hopeful he will recover.

Papi was rushed to Angell in critical condition just after the fire.  He was admitted the Emergency & Critical Care Unit, where doctors administered pain medicine and oxygen.  “He was in very rough shape when he first arrived, with burned skin on his back and nose and even inside of his mouth,” said Angell’s Dr. Kiko Bracker.

Papi suffered from second and third degree burns along nearly his entire backside.  He underwent major surgery on July 10 to remove dead tissue from his back and ears, as well as the removal of his tail (which was so damaged it could not be saved).  He will need at least one more surgery in order to heal completely.

Donations Sought to Offset Papi’s Care

Papi is slowly recovering after his second major surgery; he will require at least two more procedures in the weeks ahead (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

Papi is slowly recovering after his second major surgery; he will require at least two more procedures in the weeks ahead (credit: MSPCA-Angell)

The cost of Papi’s care will likely exceed $10,000.  An anonymous donor has already stepped forward with a gift of $6,000 to offset the care.  The MSPCA-Angell is raising money for its Pet Care Assistance program, which in part is used to provide financial aid to families whose animals need emergency, intermediate and critical care at Angell.  Readers who would like to donate to help Papi and animals like him can click here.

Multiple Surgeries Required

Dr. Mike Pavletic of Angell’s surgery department performed the most recent two-hour surgery to remove the dead skin from Papi’s body.  According to Dr. Pavletic, Papi has a long road ahead.  “The challenge with Papi is that most of his body is covered in second and third degree burns—he’s lost a lot of tissue.  The goal of surgery was to use whatever healthy skin he has left to close the gaps.  I’m confident it’s gone as well as possible—but he’ll need at least one more procedure after this one.

Dr. Pavletic expects Papi’s next surgery to happen within the next couple of weeks.  He will also need a third procedure to repair a damaged ankle, which if left untreated will make it difficult and painful for him to walk.

Papi’s owner, Jackelyn Graciano of Lawrence, is desperate to get her dog back, even as she herself is recovering from stab wounds she received in the attack that preceded the fire.  “This is an extremely difficult time for me and for my family—and I cannot imagine life without Papi.”

The veterinary team is eager to complete Papi’s surgeries so they can return him to his owner, where he can continue to recover.

Charges Pending for Suspect

According to the Lawrence Police Dept, Graciano was stabbed by Yohanna Estrella, 34, who then set a fire to the residence.  Estrella is facing charges spanning arson, assault and battery on a household member and battery with a dangerous weapon with the intent to murder.

For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s specialty service readers may click here.





Angell Animal Medical Center cares for more than 50,000 animals a year and is one of the most acclaimed veterinary practices in the country. Angell has 67 doctors and an experienced support staff who work as a team to ensure high quality general wellness, emergency and specialty care. With 31 board-certified specialists and technology that includes an MRI specifically designed for animals, Angell is committed to providing a broad range of specialized expertise and experience, but delivers this care with one-on-one compassion that animals and their owners deserve. Angell is open for emergencies 24 hours of every day of the year, and offers night and weekend appointments with our specialty services.