Diane Lowe of Olathe was running errands Sunday evening when a neighbor called to tell her that her home was on fire.
Lowe had just dropped off her daughter, so she knew there was no one home — just her dog Finley and two cats, Abby and Zoey.
“My neighbor tried to go and get the dog, but when he opened up the door, there was too much smoke and he couldn’t get in there,” Lowe said.
Lowe arrived home just after Olathe firefighters carried Finley from the burning home, a duplex in the 1100 block of West Ashbury Street. They had found the dog unresponsive in the home’s living room and had started giving her oxygen and stimulating her body.
“To say the least it was very scary,” Lowe said. “I knew that they got the dog out so honestly she was my main concern at that point. When the firefighters saw me, they just had me sit down next to her and just talk to her.”
Finley, a 6-year-old border collie mix, was not moving. But after a few minutes of talking to her and petting her, she started moving her legs. Lowe doesn’t recall what she said, except that she must have been telling her that everything would be OK.
After firefighters revived and stabilized Finley, she was rushed to BluePearl Veterinary Partners in Overland Park and placed on emergency oxygen in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“Finley is stable and doing well so far,” said Micah Townsend, veterinary relations coordinator for BluePearl Veterinary Partners. Finley was continuing to receive oxygen therapy and being treated with antibiotics and a nebulizer.
Finley will need to be hospitalized for at least three days so that doctors can monitor her and make sure she hasn’t suffered any lung or brain damage because of the heavy smoke inhalation.
“With these cases, it is touch and go because every dog or pet reacts differently to smoke inhalation,” Townsend said. “She is definitely fighting. She is responding fairly well to treatment to the treatments so far, but the next 48 hours will be touch and go.”
Frankie’s Friends, a national charity that provides financial assistance to families with pets who need lifesaving care, is helping raise money to help cover the estimate $4,500 costs of Finley’s treatment.
Bonita Voiland, executive Director of Frankie’s Friends, said BluePearl had contacted the organization about Finley’s care.
“Frankie’s Friends works with emergency and specialty hospitals around the country exclusively,” she said. The organization’s mission mission is to help families that can’t afford the cost of life-saving treatment for their pets.
“This is a wonderful way to help the family get back on its feet and to help Finley, because smoke inhalation is as devastating to a pet as it is to a human,” Voiland said.
People can contribute here. People can also donate money at any of BluePearl area locations. Any amount raised in the Kansas City area will go toward Finley’s care and any excess will stay in the community to help cover the care for other Kansas City area pets, she said.
“This means the world to me,” Lowe said of the financial help. She said the fire started in her room and nothing is salvageable. They are still trying to determine what will be salvageable from her daughter’s room. The family’s two cats died in the fire.
“I’m very appreciative of Frankie’s Friends and BluePearl for all that they have done,” Lowe said. “And the Olathe Fire Department. Without the Olathe Fire Department, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. They’re the first heroes in all of this.”