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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – During February’s brutal winter storm, two Doberman puppies in Tyler almost lost their lives after their outdoor kennel caught fire due to a heat lamp burning their bedding. The dogs were trapped and suffered third-degree burns all over their bodies. 

Badly singed and barely hanging on to life, their owners brought them to the Tyler Animal Emergency Clinic. One suffered burns over 60% of his body. His brother had burns on every paw.

Veterinarian Gary Spence said that the burns were the worst he had ever seen.

For a while, it looked like the dogs could die from their wounds. Because the owners could not afford the extensive care the puppies would need to recover, euthanasia was considered.

“The people that brought them in, they couldn’t afford care,” Spence said. “And, their only choice was either euthanasia on these dogs, which probably on one would have been warranted.” 

Concerned about animal cruelty, Tyler police launched an investigation, then the owners decided to release their ownership to an animal rescue. No charges were filed against the owners.

To help pay for their long recoveries, Cindy Nash at Nicholas Pet Haven took custody and financial responsibility of the Dobermans. She helped raise more than $9,000 for the dogs’ $8,000 vet bill.

When asked why she decided to take responsibility for the poor pups, her answer was simple, “Well, because they’re worth it. Every animal is worth it.” 

The two dogs faced a long recovery, enduring five surgeries and multiple rehab procedures.

“Hours everyday we worked on them. They were in hydro tubs and everything else. We had to debride tissue off of one dog five different times.”

Dr. Gary Spence

A group who relies on canine coworkers had a big hand in the recovery of these puppies.

“If it wasn’t for the Tyler Police Department, none of this would have happened,” Nash said. “They stepped up, they stepped in.”

Tyler PD played an essential role in saving the lives of Benji and Mac, and one officer went the extra mile to even offer them a new forever home.

Officer Lyndsey Rogers first learned about the dogs’ life-threatening injuries on duty and decided to adopt them.

“I knew that they were going to need, you know, extra care,” Rogers said. “They were going to need a family who cares for them.” 

Rogers has a history as a paramedic and plenty of love in her heart for Benji and Mac. She met the puppies two days after they were admitted to the clinic.

“Neither of them would even stand up,” Rogers said. “The one that’s burned pretty bad, he really wouldn’t get up. He would barely turn his head to look at me. Honestly I wasn’t too sure that he was going to make it.” 

Now, Benji and Mac are full of energy and living their best lives in their new home.

“Yeah, they get whatever they want, they do whatever they want. They always have toys, they’re always running around in the backyard. As you can see, that’s what they love to do. They love playing outside.”  

Lyndsey Rogers

The two dogs are now active, running and playing with each other in the park, tails wagging.

Just three months ago, the sight of these active and healthy puppies seemed impossible to imagine. Now, thanks to an East Texas community, Benji and Mac are getting a second chance at life.