"Hope" was doused with kerosene and set on fire. BluePearl Veterinary photo
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -
A 1-year-old DeSoto County dog that was set on fire is improving and could be released from 24-hour care to a primary care veterinarian next week.
"Hope" was brought to a Tampa veterinary trauma center after she was doused with kerosene and set on fire at her home in Arcadia on March 20. Investigators believe Hope's owner may have set the mixed breed on fire.
Hope suffered burns on about 60 percent of her body and has had extensive treatment at BluePearl Veterinary in Tampa. A spokesperson said that Hope's condition is improving, but she is not totally out of the woods yet.
The clinic's ophthalmologist examined Hope's eyes on Tuesday and said that she will likely be able to see normally.
"She won't need to read a newspaper or drive a school bus, but she will be able to see a tennis ball easier," joked BluePearl Ophthalmologist Dr. Tammy Miller Michau.
“So far, Hope is doing very well in response to our treatment plan,” said Doctor Helga Bleyaert, who is overseeing Hope’s case at BluePearl.
On Monday, the BluePearl staff gave Hope her sixth laser treatment and an antiseptic wash. They also removed dead skin and bad tissue. Hope's burned skin was wrapped in gauze (see photos) after her treatment Monday and she was allowed to go outside for a bit of fresh air.
Arcadia police are investigating the case and have not charged Hope's owner at this time. Police say they're looking into whether or not the fire was intentional and if the owner is mentally stable.
A Hardee County non-profit group called HART is accepting donations for Hope's care. To learn more visit: http://hardeeanimalrescueteam.weebly.com