UPDATE: Taka recovering from painful surgery, a couple more to go

Published: Oct. 25, 2018 at 6:54 PM EDT
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Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- News 12 has learned that Taka, who was burned in a house fire in Augusta last month, is recovering from his surgery.

Vetenary staff say his surgery went very well and most of the painful parts are over and he's doing better.

They say Taka will need one or two more surgeries next week and they are very grateful for all support.

Due to the graphic content we have provided a link:


Friday, Nov. 2, 2018

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Taka the dog is facing an uphill battle on his way to recovery.

In a recent Facebook post, Care More Animal Hospital stated Wednesday was one of his "bad" days.

They are working with Taka very closley to assure he makes a speedy recovery. The staff goes on to say Taka "is eadingon his own again" and they are thankful for the "flood" of gifts they have been receiving for him.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

(News 12 at 6 O’Clock / NBC 26 at 7)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – We wanted to give you an update on the dog caught in a house fire earlier this week. We went after this story thinking it would be a happy update to how the dog is doing, but it turns out he's in worse shape than originally thought. The vets at UGA have him now with a critical care team assigned to him.

"Pain is our most important factor that we are fighting against right now," Dr. Emily Martin. "We don't want him in pain."

A fire earlier this week leaves a duplex destroyed, people injuried, and a family pet fighting for his life.

"It's hard seeing an innocent animal, who doesn't even understand what's going on in so much pain," Emily said.

A Shiba Inu named Taka or as the vetenarians call him, Taco was deeply burned on his face, especially his lips, eyes and also his paws.

"I have not seen something to this degree happen before," Emily said.

Dr. Emily Martin works at Care More Animal Hospital. When she saw Taco, she and the rest of the staff broke down in tears.

"It's so severe it was the most helpless feeling ever," Emily said. "I didn't know where to start so I kind of just froze crying until I could gather my thoughts."

The pictures are tough to look at, but what they don't show are his internal injuries.

"What he's dealing with right now is carbon monoxide poisoning, inhalation burns, and then the skin on his back actually got affected too through thermal injury," Emily said.

For Emily, the bond she formed with Taco happened fast and what seemed to be effortless.

"We are kind of treating him like our own so I'm pretty attached," Emily said. "The first night I took him home, I didn't want him to be here by himself and I wanted him to get IV pain medications all night long."

And even during her lunch break she'd cuddle up with him for a nap. Showing him all the TLC she could give.

"He would only calm down if I sat with him and I'm trying not to cry but he didn't even know me and he trusted me so I got pretty attached," Emily said emotionally.

Because of his worse condition, Taco was transfered to UGA in Athens for further treatment. Emily said it was hard to let him go, but she knew it was for the best.

"He needed extra care that that we're not capable of doing here," Emily said. He's right where he needs to be and has the best doctors around working on him."

He has a critical care team assigned to him at UGA and doctors have kept Emily in the loop. Emily said Taco makes it through this, she'd love to adopt him.

The biggest surprise for her is the support Taco has gotten from the community.

"For a dog to affect our community the way it has is incredible and he's not just a dog, he's special," Emily said.

Through Care More Animal Hospital, the community has raised $4,400.61 to go toward his hospital bill. If you want to donate call the hospital at (706)650-1839.