Burned puppy 'Fireman' gets 2nd chance with forever family

ALAMEDA, Calif. (KTVU) - A Chihuahua who appeared to have been tortured and burned has been adopted by a family with a very special understanding of what it means to be a burn survivor.

A six-month old Chihuahua mix named Fireman was just a few weeks old when he was left at the Antioch animal shelter with what appeared to be chemical burns to his ears and stomach.

No one has been arrested for the apparent abuse.

But after KTVU’s initial story aired in April, KTVU and Umbrella of Hope received thousands of offers to adopt fireman.

KTVU checked with hospitals and burn units to recommend an extra special home for Fireman.

One hospital recommended 12-year-old Chloe Levensen-Cupp of Alameda.

The two share a common horror - both survived severe burns.

Hot tea accidentally fell on Chloe when she was just over a year old. She had third degree burns from her mouth to her stomach.

Fireman was nursed back to health by animal shelter volunteer Kristy Keusch.

She said a veterinarian told her someone may have tortured the puppy.

Fireman's ears were so badly damaged, they had to be amputated.

"He laid on his side only, because he was in so much pain," said Keusch. "Normally in the human world you don't meet burn survivors. And then meeting a dog like me is even more special," said Chloe.

Chloe says her parents took a little convincing.

"I was like please, please, please mom, please. Any my mom was like ok but only because it's a special circumstance. And I was like yes."

"I think Chloe will help him heal his heart." said Keutsch.

It appears to be a happy ending for a puppy with a rough start to be with a family who understands.

"He's going to live in my bed. He's going to be my baby," said Chloe.

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