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$8,000 Raised To Help Heal Burned Puppy

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Ruff Ruff

Ruff Ruff is recovering after being burned in a fire in Wilmington. (Credit: PAWS Tinley Park)

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TINLEY PARK, Ill. (CBS) — A puppy has been saved not just once, but twice, in her very young life.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, 9-month-old Ruff Ruff was an abused puppy, rescued by Tom Zeilenga when she was just four months old.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports

She was living happily with him and two other dogs until Zeilenga’s Wilmington home caught fire on New Year’s Eve. He was away at the time.

A neighbor saved the two older dogs from the burning home but, Ruff Ruff was frightened and ran out of the house on fire. Five hours later, another neighbor found the puppy badly burned and cowering under a porch.

It wasn’t until Zeilenga arrived that Ruff Ruff allowed herself to be picked up. Veterinarians say her thick coat saved her life but, she’s need weeks of surgery, skin grafts and therapy.

Cassie Szplett with PAWS tells WBBM Newsradio that considering all the Catahoula Leopard puppy been through, Ruff Ruff’s making an amazing recovery.

“She is like a different dog. She just lays there. She’s not skittish anymore. It’s almost like she knows she’s been saved. She’s a very happy dog,” Szplett said.

After PAWS in Tinley Park put out the word, strangers donated $8,000 to help with her medical bills. This weekend, PAWS plans an open house for contributors to come and meet the dog they’re helping.

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