Thanks to a team effort, a heroic dog who saved a family from a burning home is making a miraculous recovery.
In September, investigators say someone intentionally set a Tallahassee home on Lake Avenue on fire.
Onyx the pitbull's yelps awoke the Myers family of four inside and allowed them to escape.
But Onyx was burned over a third of his body and his survival was in doubt.
"From seeing him that day until now, it's like wow," said Onyx's owner Trevor Myers. "I didn't think he could ever get this far back," he said.
"He's visual, it's only going to improve from here," said Dr. Dan Brown.
Doctor Brown examined Onyx Wednesday to check his vision.
The first two weeks after the fire, it was unclear if the dog would survive.
Then his eyes became deeply infected.
"We had talked, will he lose the eyes?," said Dr. Brown "Now we have a visual, happy dog," he said.
"He's now 90 percent visual at least and two weeks ago he was maybe ten percent visual," said Doctor Kevin Brumfield of Tallahassee's Northwood Animal Hospital.
Onyx spent 8 days in Gainesville and 4 weeks at Northwood.
Donations came from around the world and covered the more than $15,000 cost.
A college girl from Seattle even sent two boxes of donated toys for Onyx.
"I'm more than happy, they did more than what they needed to do for my dog," said Myers.
The Myers' home is in the process of being repaired.
So far, no arrest has been made for the suspected arson.
By: Matt Galka
October 29, 2013
Tallahassee, FL -- The hero pit bull that helped a Tallahassee family escape a fire is back at home after almost a month of treatment at different animal hospitals.
Onyx was released Tuesday from Northwood Animal Hospital. Donations have been pouring in from around the country and around the world and they have been used to help pay for his treatment.
Onyx was severely burned all over his body after a fire was set in his home. His yelping alerted the family to escape the burning structure.
"Now he's just...he's almost like he used to be, almost like he used to be. A little bit lighter," said Onyx's owner Trevor Myers.
Onyx's burns are slowly healing and he has another eye appointment scheduled for next week. His owner's and doctors say he's wagging his tail just like he used to when he was younger.
Letter From Director Of PR, UF College of Veterinary Medicine
Onyx, a 9-month old pit bull, arrived here at the UF Small Animal Hospital yesterday. The referring veterinarian, from Northwood Animal Hospital in Tallahassee, was Dr. Kevin Brumfield and he personally drove the dog to us, where it arrived as an emergency case.
Dr. Bobbi Conner, the faculty veterinarian on emergency duty this week, said Northwood had done a great job with the care they had provided already, but that we are just going to continue that care and monitor Onyx. Although it’s still a bit early in his progress, she is “cautiously optimistic” and says he apparently hasn’t sustained wounds he can’t recover from. He’s currently stable, although Dr. Conner cautions that there could still be new injuries or a worsening of existing injuries. She says he’s a great dog, in good spirits and wagging his tail (I saw him and he’s up and walking around in his enclosure).
We are going to be anesthetizing Onyx later today to clean his wounds, remove scabs and assess his tissue viability and will probably have him for at least three or four more days. He sustained what could be referred to as 1st and 2nd degree burns on around 30-40 percent of his body, poor guy.
September 27, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - According to the Northwood Animal Hospital, Onyx has been transported to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine's small animal hospital for further treatment.
Onyx has severe ocular damage from the fire, and secondary kidney complications.
By: Matt Galka
September 26, 2013
Tallahassee, FL - It was a chaotic scene on Lake Avenue in Tallahassee early Thursday morning. A fire broke out in the back of a home while Sierra Plair and her family were sleeping.
"The Fire Marshall is telling us that someone deliberately started the fire," said Plair.
"They doused gasoline through here which was basically on top of Onyx and then ignited the fire."
Onyx is the family's dog. He was in his crate inside the room the fire started, directly below on of the Plair's children's rooms. Onyx's yelps awoke the family of four and allowed them to escape for help, possibly saving their lives. Now he's fighting for his own at Northwood Animal Hospital.
"He had burns probably on 30 to 40 percent of his body, concentrated primarily on his face, his ears, his chest, and his feet."
Plair said her family is glad to be alive, but their main concern is for their beloved 9 month old pit bull.
"Onyx is not a human, but he's still a part of our family. They hurt someone in our family. Almost killed someone in our family. And almost killed us," said Plair.
Now, they're just left with questions in the wake of the blaze.
"Who would do something like this? Why would someone do something like this? What would make someone so angry or so mad?" Plair asked, holding back tears.
Northwood Animal Hospital has donated services and treatment because Plair and her family couldn't afford care for Onyx. The Animal Hospital is accepting donations. They can be reached at 850-385-8181.