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Severely Burned Dog Becomes A Therapy Dog For Patients Like Him



  • A severely burned dog survived his injuries and now serves as a therapy dog for others.
  • Taka endured long treatments for his injuries which left him almost blind and with burn spots that never recovered.
  • His fighting spirit has inspired other dogs and humans to have hope.

After getting trapped in their burning house, Taka the dog suffered severe injuries that threatened his life.  Doctors and staff at the Care More Animal Hospital in Martinez, Georgia worked overtime to save his life.

Crystal Lesley, one of the staff members of the hospital and Taka’s mom said that his long recovery went in stages.  The first part ran for 4 to 6 weeks and for the burned spots that would not heal, Taka had the help of the JMS Burn Center.

Photo Credit: Crystal Lesley

His extensive injuries left Taka with almost no depth perception and nearly blind. Some of his burn spots never grew hair back. Taka had to adjust to a lot of changes but his family made sure that he was safe and comfortable.

Photo Credit: Crystal Lesley

Through it all, Taka remained strong and brave.  His mom said, “He is an extremely feisty dog and nothing gets him down. He loves life!”

His strong will to survive and remain in happy spirits made Taka a perfect example for others to follow and qualified him to be trained as a therapy dog.  Now, he meets and comforts similar patients like him.

Photo Credit: Crystal Lesley

Lesley said that the people in the Burn unit love Taka. She added, “They want to pet him and get his picture and hear all about his story. He definitely brightens their day … Taka is the hero of a new coloring book that was made and put out by the burn center, so he got to go around and help [hand] them out to the children. He seemed to love it.”

With the pandemic, Taka’s hospital visits have been limited and his age has made him tire quickly.  But he continues to inspire others through occasional visits and online meetings. He’s also been able to comfort other dogs at the hospital that cared for him to recover.

Taka is a source of strength of comfort to others like him — humans and animals. Lesley said, “When you have a bad day or start feeling bad about your life, look at Taka. He is the epitome of strength … He has changed my life greatly. He is my inspiration.”

Thank you, Taka!

Source: The Dodo