Dog on the mend after house explosion


TAYLOR, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – The man critically injured in a Lackawanna County house explosion wasn’t the only member of his household hurt. His dog was also wounded and is now on the mend. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller checked-in on the pet in need of and receiving some tender, loving care.

“I think he’s on the road to recovery but it’s going to take awhile,” said Tracey’s Hope CEO Denise Kumor. A roughly 4-year-old border collie mix named Buddy is slowly healing with each passing day. “He’s traumatized. He’s scared. And he’s looking for his owner. They were very close,” said Ms. Kumor.

Buddy belongs to 58-year-old Brian Ott whose Union Street house exploded August 30. As crews raced to the scene to free Mr. Ott from the ruins, Buddy bolted only to return at some point unable to find his master or his home. Neighbor Annie Shingler said, “He came back and there must have been hot spots still.”

Buddy’s right paw is so badly burned he curls it while resting and limps when he walks. He was also burned on his nose. His right eye is still bloodshot from what he endured. Even though Buddy was spotted the day after the blast, he remained on the loose for nearly two days before wandering into Ms. Shingler’s yard. “To see him there I was just amazed. And then when I hugged him I felt his fur was singed and I said what have you been through these past two days you poor boy,” she said.

Buddy’s survival story is more than just withstanding the fiery debris. During his time on the run, he was spotted chased by coyotes here in this wooded area within a couple of blocks of his home. Taylor Police Officer Thomas McGovern said, “He didn’t look to have any bite wounds or anything. He has some burns, some singing of his hair.”

Buddy is on antibiotics and pain medication. Since the explosion, he’s also frightened of loud noises. “His foster family actually slept with him on the floor,” said Ms. Kumor whose Duryea-based animal rescue group Tracey’s Hope placed Buddy in a foster home hopes this survival story has a happy ending.

Before Mr. Ott was put in a medically-induced coma he was told Buddy survived. You can learn about offsetting Buddy’s expenses by calling Tracey’s Hope at 570-457-1625.

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