$30,000 Raised for Hero Dog Who Tried to Save Owner from Fire

Carmen, a nine-year-old boxer, has recovered enough to go home with her human uncle after being pulled from the house fire that killed her dad. When she was found, she was lying on top of her dad’s face, trying to shield him from the smoke and fire.

The heroine’s homecoming is bittersweet for Phil Ledford, whose brother’s life was tragically claimed by the February 5th fire that ravaged his Ohio house.


“It’ll be tough in that sense, seeing Carmen every day, because she will remind me of Ben,” Phil told CNN affiliate WCPO.  “But it’ll be like having a piece of him around.”

First responders said they found Carmen on top of Ben Ledford, blocking his face from the heat and smoke that were taking their toll on both of them.  Ben was taken to a hospital, where he later died.  Carmen was brought to Care Center Vets in Cincinnati.


A fundraiser was launched and donations began pouring in for the medical treatment of this brave and loyal dog.  Over $29,000 has been sent in.

She was suffering from severe lung damage due to smoke inhalation, according to Dr. Daniel Carey.  She was kept sedated, but she responded well to the family’s visits.  They kept them short, however, so she could save up all her energy for physical therapy, which she needs to help her walk again.


Over the weekend Carmen was taken off oxygen support and was eating on her own.  On Monday, Phil and family brought her home.

“We still cannot find the words to truly express how much we appreciate the support we’ve received from everyone for Ben, the family and for Carmen,” the fundraiser page says.  “If it hadn’t been for the vet who rescued Carmen, the Care Center and the support and donations from friends, family and pet lovers from around the world, we would not have been able to provide Carmen with the level of care that has allowed her to walk out of the hospital today.”

CARMEN UPDATE: A very happy day today for Carmen at Care Center. Carmen was able to go home tonight to be with her family! We will all miss her sweet, loving face (and kisses), but we are so glad she is able to be home with her family tonight.

Our Critical Care Specialist was able to take Carmen off oxygen support this past weekend. Now, she has been eating on her own and she continues to gain strength through her rehabilitation. She will need to come back to have a few re-check appointments with our Specialist as she continues to heal and recover, but she is now strong enough to continue her road to recovery at home. Thank you to everyone for being a part of her recovery, her healing, and her journey home.


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