Burned Dog Given a 2nd Chance with Skin Grafts

A Chihuahua mutt with burns over 90 percent of her body received the free surgery from a Milwaukee veterinarian.

It's a story filled with human cruelty - and human kindness.

A Milwaukee doggie who suffered severe burns and abuse was given free skin graft surgery this week - a procedure typical for humans, not dogs.

Beatrice, a 5-year-old Chihuahua mutt, vanished from the backyard of her loving owner, Karen Burns, on March 13, and then found again 11 days later, abandoned outside a casino with burns over 90 percent of her body.

Milwaukee police believe a 21-year-old man being held on unrelated charges was responsible for Beatrice's abuse.

Dr. Marla Lichtenberger leans in to kiss Beatrice the dog at Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals in Greenfield, Wis., April 28, 2014. (Carrie Antlfinger/AP Photo)

Horrified by the story, veterinarian Marla Lichtenberger at the Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals and surgeon John Weigelt offered to treat the dog for free.

"She's doing wonderfully, resting comfortably this morning," said Debra Lopez, a spokeswoman for the animal hospital. "We will know in two weeks if she rejects the pigskin, but the surgery was just awesome."

The procedure takes pigskin and places it over the dogs' burns, letting the skin underneath heal. This may be the first time that pigskin has been used to treat dog burns.

If the services and skin weren't donated, the surgery would have cost $4,000 on top of $5,000 additional veterinary costs.

In addition, Beatrice will still need additional skin grafts in the future. T o pay for the remaining costs, Animal Fairy Charities is raising money to help Burns .

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