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Five Dogs Injured in Fire Should Make Full Recovery, Vet Says

By Heather Cherone | December 1, 2012 8:26am | Updated on December 1, 2012 8:28am

JEFFERSON PARK — Five dogs rescued from a house fire Monday afternoon in Jefferson Park are expected to make a full recovery and be released from the hospital next week, the pups’ veterinarian said Friday.

“We're really going to miss them,” said Andy Orals, a veterinarian at Forest Glen Animal Hospital. “They’re really nice dogs.”

The dogs arrived at the hospital covered in soot and ash and soaked from the water used to fight the fire. Two of the dogs were burned, others suffered from smoke inhalation as well as cuts and badly matted fur, Orals said.

“They were in terrible shape,” Orals said.

Only one dog remains hooked up to an IV, Orals said.

But two dogs pulled from the fire died, one shortly after arriving at the hospital, and the other Monday night, Orals said.

“The dog [that died] only had 10 to 20 percent lung capacity,” Orals said. “It was a sad situation and a devastating fire.”

A man was also injured in the fire that destroyed the home at 5033 W. Winona St. and damaged the house next door. Two off-duty firefighters kicked down the door to the house and prevented the man from going back into the house to save the animals.

The five dogs, which all appear to be Poodle mixes, range in size from nine to 16 pounds and from 5 ½ months old to 10 or 12 years old, Orals said. Three are male and two are female, he added.

“They are still nervous,” Orals said. “But they are acclimating well.”

Once the dogs have recovered, they will be released to the city's department of Animal Care and Control, Orals said.

A man who cared for one of the dogs after it was rescued from the fire has called every day to check on its condition, and ask if he will be allowed to adopt it.

“I’m not sure what will happen, but I told him I would do what I could to help him,” Orals said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said.

Firefighters had been called to the home in the past to extinguish a fire pit where debris was being burned, Langford said. The house was full of clutter and the man who lived there was a “hoarder,” he added.