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Ruff Ruff, Tinley Park Puppy, Recovering From Fire, Community Rallies To Help With Medical Bills

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Ruff Ruff shortly after being severely burnt during a Wilmington, Ill. fire. The puppy is now on the road to a full recovery.
Ruff Ruff shortly after being severely burnt during a Wilmington, Ill. fire. The puppy is now on the road to a full recovery.

An Illinois puppy who was badly burned in a house fire last month and underwent extensive surgery and skin grafting is expected to make a full recovery, thanks to the help of a community which donated $8,000 towards her medical bills.

Ruff Ruff, a 9-month-old Catahoula Leopard puppy, was injured during a fire that destroyed Tom Zeilenga's Wilmington, Ill., home and most of his family's belongings.

As Patch reported at the time, Ruff Ruff -- a once feral, abused puppy who had only been with the Zeilenga family for two months -- has been under treatment in Tinley Park, Ill., since she sustained third-degree burns during the New Year's Eve fire, which occurred while Zeilenga was away.

PAWS of Tinley Park stepped up to help put out the word that the Zeilenga family needed help to pay for the puppy's lofting medical bills -- and the result of that call was $8,000 worth of donations. As a thank you to the community that made those contributions, PAWS is hosting a meet-and-greet with the puppy on Sunday, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Cassie Szplett with PAWS told CBS Chicago that the dog's recovery has been "amazing."

"She is like a different dog," Szplett told CBS. "She just lays there. She's not skittish anymore. It's almost like she knows she's been saved. She's a very happy dog."

As for Zeilenga, he told the Chicago Sun-Times that the generosity exhibited by those who helped save his dog's life has made him have "a soft heart."

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