Community supporting dog that was badly burned in fire

Bella was burned in a house fire December 27 on Norfolk's A Avenue.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A Norfolk family lost nearly everything in a fire last month. Everything except for their beloved pet.

But the dog did not escape unharmed.

It has severe burns to more than half its body.  Now the community is stepping up to help this dog get back on its feet.

“Her burns were not as evident when she came in,” said Dr. Kimberly Key with Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital.

Bella was burned in a house fire December 27 on Norfolk’s A Avenue.  Her owner is a single mom with five children.

“She has second and third degree burns over the majority of her right side,” Key added.

Animal control brought Bella to Bay Beach for care.  Vets knew that her owner wouldn’t be able to pay for care so they’ve been donating their services.

“We are doing treatments on her every day,” Key said.  “She is so tolerant, so sweet.”

Vets say the community support has been overwhelming.  Donations from strangers have helped offset the mounting bills.

“We just wanted to do anything we could to help,” added Dr. Heather Brookshire with Animal Vision Center of Virginia.

Animal Vision Center of Virginia has pitched in to fix Bella’s eyes. The heat left her eyes with ulcers, but it’s very treatable.

“I think she has got a good chance,” Brookshire said.  “She is going to need a lot of continued therapy.”

Bella is getting stronger every day and in a couple weeks might be able to go home.  No, she’s not a Phoenix, but she certainly appears to be rising from the ashes.

“She’s extremely lucky to be alive,” Key added.

Vets are still looking for donations for Bella’s care.  They say anyone interested in donating can call Bay Beach Veterinary Hospital at 757-340-3913.