Parkland, FL- A woman caught her dog on fire while treating for ticks, and her husband was severely burned while attempting to save the dog according to NBC Miami on Wednesday February 12, 2014. Telma Botcherby noticed a live tick had fallen off her dog while she was mid-tick treatment and attempted to light the bug on fire with a lighter but also sent her dog and husband into flames in the process.
When Telma's husband Jess Olivas heard his wife screaming (because she had set the family dog on fire) he grabbed Ruby, the flame engulfed dog, and ran to the family swimming pool. Dog's best friend saved her life, but suffered second degree burns over 25% of his body in the process.
Broward County Sheriff's Office attempted to take the injured dog to an emergency vet while the husband was being treated for his burns at a local hospital, but the family declined emergency service claiming they couldn't afford it. The family is receiving heavy criticism to the delay of the dog's treatment and prolonged overnight anguish with claims of financial hardship. This is at least partially due to photos of the family's lavish home and elaborate in-ground swimming pool (as shown in the video posted on NBC.) Fortunately a local clinic, Dr. Peter's Animal Hospital in Margate, took badly injured Ruby in for treatment pro bono anyway, where she is currently being treated and will be recovering slowly for the next 7-10 days before she can even go home.
Nealy every topical tick treatment purchased over the counter contains this warning as stated for Zodiac on Drugs.com: "Caution: Flammable. Keep away from heat or open flame." Unfortunately, the risks of using these highly caustic chemical treatments hardly seems worth it when you take a look at a tragedy such as this, or data from the National Resources Defense Council. The NRDC website claims that just the residue from some treatments contains dangerous chemicals in dosages, "high enough to pose serious neurological and cancer risks to children and adults who play with their pets." The NRDC site also suggests healthy, green, and non-flammable alternatives to flammable treatments such as those that caused Ruby and her owner's sever burns.