Dog Critically Injured in Fire Faces Uncertain Future

A donation page has been set up for Papi, who was critically injured in a fire.

A before picture shows how beautiful Papi was prior to the fire. Credit MSPCA-Angell
A before picture shows how beautiful Papi was prior to the fire. Credit MSPCA-Angell

Five-year-old pomeranian, Papi, was critically injured in a house fire in Lawrence last month, and has been in and out of Boston Angell Animal Medical Center ever since. 

On Thursday, the dog had two hours of reconstructive surgery at Angell, where Dr. Mike Pavletic, the hospital's head of surgery, attempted to use the skin from Papi's belly and chest to cover his backside. Papi also had to have his tail and most of his ears removed. 

"The little dog has impressed Angell’s doctors with a strong will to live," said Rob Halpin from the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA). "His medical bills will no doubt reach five figures and we’ve created a fund to help offset the cost of his care. The goal is to get him well—he still has at least two more surgeries ahead of him—and return him to owner Jackelyn Graciano, who herself is recovering from stab wounds she received in the attack."

Papi was rushed to Angell in critical condition just after the fire.  He was admitted the Emergency & Critical Care Unit, where doctors administered pain medicine and oxygen.  “He was in very rough shape when he first arrived, with burned skin on his back and nose and even inside of his mouth,” said Angell’s Dr. Kiko Bracker.

Papi suffered from second and third degree burns along nearly his entire backside.  He underwent major surgery on July 10 to remove dead tissue from his backside and ears, as well as the removal of his tail (which was so damaged it could not be saved).  He will need at least one more surgery in order to heal completely.

Donations Sought to Offset Papi’s Care

The cost of Papi’s care will likely exceed $10,000. An anonymous donor has already stepped forward with a gift of $6,000 to offset the care. The MSPCA-Angell is raising money for its Pet Care Assistance program, which in part is used to provide financial aid to families whose animals need emergency, intermediate and critical care at Angell. Readers who would like to donate to help Papi and animals like him can click here

Multiple Surgeries Required

Dr. Mike Pavletic of Angell’s surgery department performed the most recent two-hour surgery to remove the dead skin from Papi’s body.  According to Dr. Pavletic, Papi has a long road ahead.  “The challenge with Papi is that most of his body is covered in second and third degree burns—he’s lost a lot of tissue.  The goal of surgery was to use whatever healthy skin he has left to close the gaps.  I’m confident it’s gone as well as possible—but he’ll need at least one more procedure after this one.

Dr. Pavletic expects Papi’s next surgery to happen within the next couple of weeks.  He will also need a third procedure to repair a damaged ankle, which if left untreated will make it difficult and painful for him to walk.

Papi’s owner, Jackelyn Graciano of Lawrence, is desperate to get her dog back, even as she herself is recovering from stab wounds she received in the attack that preceded the fire.  “This is an extremely difficult time for me and for my family—and I cannot imagine life without Papi.”

The veterinary team is eager to complete Papi’s surgeries so they can return him to his owner, where he can continue to recover.

Charges Pending for Suspect

According to the Lawrence Police Dept, Graciano was stabbed by Yohanna Estrella, 34, who then set a fire to the residence.  Estrella is facing charges spanning arson, assault and battery on a household member and battery with a dangerous weapon with the intent to murder.

For more information about Angell Animal Medical Center’s specialty service readers may click here.


Tara Dactyl July 11, 2014 at 06:37 PM
How 'bout the dog's owner that was stabbed? How's that fund raising going?
Tina July 13, 2014 at 12:55 AM
The alleged stabber and arsonist -- Yohanna Estrella -- should be forced to pay for Papi the dog's medical bills.
Holly Pearson July 14, 2014 at 04:58 PM
This poor dog has had to endure so much suffering after the fire and there's more suffering to come. Maybe the humane action would be to euthanize Papi. I'm hoping that the vets at Angell counseled Ms. Graciano about this. There are worse things than death. Keeping Papi alive may not be heroic, it may be cruel.
Andrea Holden July 15, 2014 at 04:03 PM
Holly I was feeling the same way - it might be for selfish reasons that poor papi is subject to so much pain.


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