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Onyx the Dog Catches on Fire Saving His Family, Now Recovering Thanks to the Love of Many

Onyx the Dog Catches on Fire Saving His Family, Now Recovering Thanks to the Love of Many

At 2 a.m. on the morning of September 26, a young family in Tallahassee, Fla., was woken by loud barking coming from their back patio.

Onyx, the family’s 9-month-old pitbull, was doing what he could to alert his family–Trevor Myres, Sierra Plair and their two sons–that a fire had broken out.

Myres rushed to the back patio where the fire had started and found Onyx on fire. He extinguished the flames on the dog with a hose, while the rest of the family evacuated safely.

“I honestly do feel like if Onyx wasn’t out there, even though it’s unfortunate, anything could have happened,” Plair told “Once [the fire] got up to my son’s room, we wouldn’t have been able to go up there and get the kids out.”

Onyx now joins the ranks of the many animal heroes that Care2 has honored before. Remember Chilly, the bulldog mix from Virginia who urgently woke her sleeping owner, who was suffering from a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction, in time for her to receive life-saving treatment? That heroic act won Chilly the Humane Society’s Pet of Valor award.

For more animal heroes, check out these four animal heroes of 2012, including my own cat, Sargent Pepper, who woke my husband and I just in time to escape our house before our basement exploded in flames.

Sargent Pepper escaped with no physical wounds, but Onyx was not so lucky.

Although firefighters were able to extinguish the fire along the rear of the home and inside the back porch, with damages estimated at just $5,000, the dog was left in serious condition. He had burns over 25 to 30 percent of his body and will require weeks of expensive treatment.

The family originally took Onyx to a Tallahassee animal hospital who said they could not treat Onyx because the family did not have enough money to take care of the costs.

“We were at our wits’ end,” Plair told “We were going to give him up because we didn’t have money for treatment.”

Luckily, the staffs at the Tallahassee-Leon County Animal Service Center and Northwood Animal Hospital had another idea.

According to

“Our goal is to help pets stay in their homes with their families,” Dr. Rachel Barton, Animal Services Veterinarian, told WXTL. “Given the traumatic event this family had just experienced, we knew we needed to do whatever we could to help them keep Onyx at home.”

To raise money for Onyx’s treatment, Dr. Kevin Brumfield at Northwood began a Facebook campaign and set up a PayPal account where people could donate money. The original Facebook post was shared more than 1,000 times.

Animal lovers don’t need reminding of this, but how wonderful to see the human-animal bond revealed in all its complexity: animals putting faith in humans and helping them, and humans reaching out to love and nurture their animals.

Sadly, this story is not over yet. Onyx was transported to the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine for further treatment on September 29. Of course without the generous donations, Onyx’s family would not have been able to afford any of this.

“The support that we have received for Onyx has brought me so many wonderful chills!” wrote Dr. Morgan Guoan in an update. “Thank you to all for the wonderful smile in my heart and for the most beautiful love, light and energy all of you are sending. Onyx is wagging his tail for you! Thank you for that!”

Wishing you a speedy recovery, Onyx!

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Photo Credit: target="_blank">Tallahassee Fire Department

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6:59AM PDT on Jun 2, 2014

thanks for sharing :)

6:16AM PDT on Oct 31, 2013

Thank you to all who were involved in saving Onyx.

Mum of three Kiss Bulls.

11:03AM PDT on Oct 22, 2013

I hope Onyx will recover soon and forget what he went through. A big hug sweet Onyx

6:45PM PDT on Oct 12, 2013


11:56PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013


5:08PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. Kudos to the vet who is helping out.

4:52PM PDT on Oct 11, 2013

Hope this dear dog has a full recovery and lives a long, happy life with his family. Many thanks to all who contributed to his care.

2:44PM PDT on Oct 10, 2013

what a brilliant dog and such a young one too. Shame on the animal hospital. yes there are rules and procedures, but are you telling me they don't make enough profit to cover such emergencies especially when they are as a result of such heroism?

7:37AM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

The vet who refused Onyx's care should be ashamed of him or herself! I am fortunate to have a vet who I know would take in a situation like that in a minute to save the dog's life.
We need more of them in this world! Sadly, this is a vet who's more interested in making money than treating animals!

6:06AM PDT on Oct 9, 2013

my vet has a sign up that says...."we aren't in business to make money, but...if we don't make maney, we won't be in business"....however...they also make payment arrangements. i nearly always owe them money....and so far this year...have paid out more than $12,000.00 in vet bills for my dogs and my rescues. they know that they will get a check from me on the 13-17th...somewhere in there...without fail. i would get my groceries at a food bank, or make my power bill late before i missed that payment.

and now.....where are all the pit bull haters....?????? the ones who want to see them all destroyed? funny how i so rarely see them on a thread like this....but when some POS human chains a dog in the backyard without food or water...breeds it over and over to fill the dog fighters insatiable appetite for gore...and then hangs out in the living room drinking while the two year old is missing for ....oh...2 hours or more....and when said 2 year old is mauled by the unsocialized, starving beast.....they show up in droves to condemn the dog....when it is nearly always the humans fault.

so...get your bad selves on over here and learn what us pit lovers and rescuers have always known.....these dogs will risk life, endure pain and show more courage than most humans will in the face of danger....

oh...prolly not. if you learned what a kiss bull really might have to change your mind....and that might not even be possible....given your persistent cement headedness

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