SAN ANTONIO, TX – May 13, 2017 – Matilda, the heroic 3-1/2-year-old pit bull mix who saved her owners from a house fire in March, was reunited with the firemen who resuscitated her from smoke inhalation and the veterinary team at VCA Becker Animal Hospital who treated her. Matilda, who was sleeping between her pet parents, awoke smelling smoke from a fire that was consuming the house. Unable to wake her owners, human pet parents up, Matilda scratched and pulled on the blankets and covers until Eddie and Natividad Zuniga finally woke and were able to escape the burning house.
As soon as the Zunigas made it out of the house to safety Matilda headed back into the burning house to rescue her Chihuahua friend Bella, who was frightened and hiding deep under a bed. Firefighters from Fire Station #8 retrieved the dogs, and started resuscitating Matilda who had passed out from smoke inhalation.
“Once both dogs were moved to a safe location, we resuscitated Matilda and recommended she be taken to their veterinarian for further care which they did immediately,” said Firefighter David Maldonado.
“Matilda presented with severe smoke inhalation leading to respiratory distress and significant eye irritation,” said Dr. Daniel Arrington, VCA Becker Animal Hospital Medical Director. “The firemen from Fire Station #8 did an exceptional job with her initial supportive care and helped save her life. Matilda’s beautiful white fur coat was covered with soot which made her fur look a blackish-grey color. She also suffered from coughing fits and difficulty breathing which required continuous oxygen and nebulization therapy. After a few days in the hospital with constant love and attention, Matilda was released. We are so happy that the Zuniga’s and their pets survived the fire.”
This week, Matilda and the Zunigas were re-united with the firemen from Fire Station #8, Dr. Arrington, and the hospital staff who treated her. Matilda received an exam and was presented with a plaque for her heroism! The firemen were also presented a plaque for saving Matilda and Bella’s lives and being the first responders at the fire scene. Although the Zuniga’s house was destroyed, with the help of their heroic Matilda, their lives were saved.