Heroic Fire Dog Matilda Reunited with Firemen and Veterinary Team

By May 22, 2017 October 21st, 2020 Community Partners

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.

About VCA Becker Animal Hospital and Pet Resort

VCA Becker Animal Hospital and Pet Resort is a full service, 24-hour Veterinary Hospital that offers a no-appointment, walk in any time service.  The hospital features 8-9 veterinarians on-staff full time and offers a variety of services available at any time day or night, including routine wellness care and vaccinations, as well as emergency care, diagnostic blood work and X-rays, routine and emergency surgery, dental teeth cleaning and all methods of medical treatment and hospitalization.
The Pet Resort offers Luxury Suite boarding, Indoor-Outdoor Kennel boarding, Indoor Kennel boarding and Standard Cage boarding featuring a Doggie Day Care with a dedicated indoor room and a spacious outdoor space complete with the first and only in-ground swimming pool at a San Antonio Pet Day Care and Boarding facility.

About VCA

VCA Animal Hospitals operates more than 750 small animal veterinary hospitals in the U.S. and Canada. The hospitals are staffed by more than 4,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians to give pets the very best in medical care, of which over 400 are board-certified specialists who are experts in areas such as Oncology, Cardiology, Emergency & Critical Care, and Surgery for animals. VCA Animal Hospitals provides a full range of general practice services to keep pets well and specialized treatments when pets are ill. For more information, please visit www.VCAhospitals.com or follow on Twitter@vcapethealth.
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John Quiroz
Hospital Manager
VCA Becker Animal Hospital and Pet Resort
6515 IH 10 West
San Antonio, TX 78201
(210) 732-5145

Martha Plummer, MBA
Local Marketing Manager, SW Group, VCA Inc.
(505) 220-5388 or [email protected]