A Muscatine man lost almost everything he owned in a serious fire last week, but a dog he thought he was going to lose is making a remarkable comeback.


Jamie Zaragoza’s home on West Ninth Street burned down on Friday, December 23. He and one of his dogs managed to escape unharmed, but Leah, a German Shepard, received serious burns and smoke inhalation after being trapped in the basement during the blaze. “Leah was in that fire for the entire time, so she had to have smoke inhalation very badly and then she came out with ice on her ears from all the water that was sprayed on her, so she toughed everything out, ” said Zaragoza.

Leah was rushed to a veterinarian in Muscatine for emergency treatment, who brought her to Bettendorf for more care. She’s making progress and her vet bills have largely been paid by donors. Meagan Koehler helped organize the fundraiser.  “This gentleman who’s Leah’s owner whose house burned down, he lost everything and has financial needs that need to be accounted for that aren’t emergency vet care. When I found out about this dog  and what was needed, I made a post on Facebook asking for people to share it and donate if they could. In less than 24 hours, we were able to raise $3000 for Leah’s vet care.”

Zargoza had been in his home for about 20 years and had recently dropped his insurance for financial reasons. The Red Cross, the Salvation Army and a GoFundMe page are helping him start over.

But he still has his four legged best friends by his side.