BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was about six months ago when the news that a 9-year-old boy set fire to a dog's bedding inside of a kennel in Baton Rouge. The dog suffered second degree burns on her stomach and all of her paw pads burned completely off.
It happened in the backyard of a house on Warfield Avenue, north of Florida Boulevard.
There was a time when doctors did not know if the dog would pull through with a full recovery.
Homeowners told investigators that they found Zoie yelping and trying to avoid flames in her small kennel in the back yard. Baton Rouge Fire Department Public Information Officer Robert Combs said it was obvious Zoie's kennel had intentionally been lit on fire.
Zoie was picked up by Animal Control and brought to Companion Animal Alliance. CAA was responsible for her care. She went through several surgeries and around the clock treatment for her burns, including a cone collar.
Zoie remained at CAA and officials there were responsible for finding her a good home. Cissy Edwards stepped up at the pup's worst time to adopt her.
"She's not our dog. She's our daughter," said Edwards.
After six months of recovery, Zoie seems like every other dog; playful, loving her toys and even her fellow furry buddies.
"She's gone through a lot. She's really recovered well for what she's gone through, and she's very personable for what she's gone through," said Edwards.
Edwards says she sat in a chair and held Zoie like a baby. She even slept in the chair holding Zoie. She compared it to having a newborn baby. "That's exactly what it was like with doing the wound care and everything all night. [Zoie] would wake up and she would flinch because you could tell she was in pain," said Edwards.
Zoie has a spot on one foot and patches on her body where hair will not grow again, even though she is healed.
Edwards said it took time for Zoie to trust people again and for some reason, she is terrified of cameras, but when there are no cameras around, she's like every other dog who loves chasing squirrels, enjoys the outdoors, sleeping in her parents bed, watching TV, even sitting at the wheel with her daddy, and thinking she can take on a dog twice her size.
"This dog is not a dog. This is my child. This is my heart. I love her," said Edwards.
The boy who set Zoie's bedding and kennel on fire is in counseling.
Louisiana law protects that 9-year-old boy and he will not face any criminal charges. The law does not hold any child under the age of 10 responsible for their actions.
Companion Animal Alliance uses donations from the community to help with basic needs, such as food and medicine for the animals. Like in Zoie's case, serious medical treatment was needed and the costs for the care were high. Donations can be made by visiting http://www.caabr.org/#!donate/ctzx.