BOSTON (CBS) – Terisa Acevedo heard scratching sounds coming from inside her condemned property on River Street in Hyde Park.

WBZ-TV’s Diana Perez reports.

It was nearly one month after a fire destroyed the multi-unit building.

The fire destroyed the home Feb. 23

Acevedo hadn’t seen her dog Lola since the fire on February 23. But, while returning to pick up some belongings Monday, she made a stunning find.

“We thought it was raccoon or something in the house,” Acevedo said.

But she soon figured out, that scratching sound was coming from Lola, her long-haired Dachshund.

Somehow, Lola survived not only the fire, but four weeks that followed, while locked inside that abandoned home.

Doctors think she managed by drinking toilet water and eating scraps she found around the burned-out house.

“She probably was eating something in there,” said Dr. Megan Whelan, who has been treating Lola. “There’s some material on her x-rays, mineral-like material. So, she might have been getting into something in the house.”

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones reports

That stretch included several nights of sub-freezing temperatures.

Acevedo immediately took the pup to Angell Animal Medical Center, where doctors went to work.

“Lola was brought to (us) last night and is currently being cared for in our Emergency/Critical Care Unit,” said MSPCA-Angell spokesman Brian Adams. “The veterinary team is performing several tests today to uncover the extent of her injuries. Lola remains upbeat given her ordeal.”

As of Tuesday, the dog appeared to be recovering. She was expected to spend one more night in the hospital before heading home.

Acevedo was just overjoyed to have her pup back. “I’m never going to tell her no ever again. You want a treat? Here you go. You want to go out? Yes, sure. I’ll go out with you right now.”

Comments (55)
  1. dan says:

    awesome..a real miracle

  2. Lori says:

    That is SO wonderful that out of something so terrible something great came out of it… this dogs survival. It reminds me of when my dog survived my own house fire in “87” when I was 8 years old by burrying himself under clothes in a front room closet. The fire chief & my dad found our dog alive the next day. He went on to live MANY more years. Here hoping Lola the dog will have as equally a long life as my Critter did.

  3. Donna says:

    What a Feel Good story that was!!! Thank-You…..I needed that!! Lots of Love to Lola and her mommy!!!

  4. trellis says:

    Glad she was found, but someone really dropped the ball for this to have happened. Would we have left a human there unfound and chance them suffering and dying slowly? Of course not. An animal should not have had to deal with this either. The FD should be ashamed and so should the owner.

    1. Leslie says:

      how could you turn such a wonderful story around to make it sound like “someone has done wrong” honestly- why don’t you ask YOURSELF why you didn’t look for the dog

      1. trellis says:

        Because, it’s wonderful the dog was found, but it’s far from a wonderful story. It’s incredibly sad in fact. Why don’t you ask YOURSELF, what your attitude would be to this article if it had been a CHILD.

    2. christina says:

      But that’s just it, it was a DOG not a CHILD! A wild animal who has for years been self sufficient. Quit comparing the two because it’s not the same AT ALL!!!!

      1. Terri says:

        A dog is a dometicated animal who depends on their humans to take care of them. True… they came from wild animal but we humans took them in to be out companions and as such we have the responsibility to care for them. This woman obviously dropped the ball on that. Did she think to look for the dog after the fire… at least find out whether it was dead or not? Obviously not… and to wait 4 weeks just shows that this animal would be better off being adopted by someone who will actually care about it’s welfare. And some people do consider their animals as children. I’d much rather be around other people’s dogs than their children.

      2. daren says:

        FYI trellis…the owner DID look for the dog…do your research.
        Copied from MSNBC = After the fire, her owner couldn’t find Lola and believed the dog had either died or run away.

      3. Amberly says:

        it is no different.
        a soul was trapped, suffering for a whole month.

    3. Amberly says:

      I COMPLETELY AGREE. how could someone just leave a poor animal to suffer that way? that’s absolutely awful.

      1. d says:

        the owner DID look for the dog…do your research.
        Copied from MSNBC = After the fire, her owner couldn’t find Lola and believed the dog had either died or run away.

    4. Courtney Paige says:

      I totally agree trellis!!! I was JUST thinking why was the dog still in there?? Why did she not look through the rubble to at least find the body if she thought the dog died? Did she put up missing posters?? And if the dog was locked in somewhere, wouldnt the woman have had to lock the dog in and have known the dog was locked down there??? HOW DID THE DOG GET LOCKED IN?!?!?! Something is not right here….Everyone needs to stop attacking this person (trellis). He/she makes a VERY good point!!! and to Daren…….I could say that I married a prince….that doesn’t make it true. She couldn’t have looked that hard. I’m sure the dog made quite a bit of noise the first few days it was trapped down there!

      1. jeffsmom says:

        she put up posters, went back to the house as often as she could-which BY THE WAY was all boarded up. until she received a call that the dog was in the house crying

        oh by the way trellis= comparing this to a child is apples to oranges….

    5. HOODY says:


  5. Brian Zaiger says:

    Poor doggy :(

  6. daren says:

    Trellis = how do you know the dog wasn’t unconscious when the crews went through the scene…unconscious normally indicates an inability to respond to stimuli…
    How do you know the pup wasn’t frightened to the point of being unable to move or make a noise…I’m sure the fire crews weren’t very quiet while in the scene…how do you know the noise they were making didn’t mask any noise the pup may have been trying to make?
    How do you know the pup wasn’t already deaf or lost her hearing during this situation? If something explodes near you, you’re hearing is effected…
    Too bad you can’t be happy that the pup made it out alive in the end…the owner must be so happy to have a precious member of her family back…

    1. trellis says:

      I am happy that she was found, and that was my opening statement. Doesn’t change the fact, that had it been a child, the FD (and the parent would have insisted they do it or do it themselves) would have searched until they had a body. Everyone is so happy for the dog because they supposedly love dogs so much, but see no wrong that it sat there that long? Too bad you can’t give animals the same respect you give humans.

      1. daren says:

        the last comment in your reply is where you go totally off the rails…

      2. reb says:

        why do all of you feel you can give opinions based on your assumptions. None of us know what the search for Lola was like.
        My life revolves around my animals, but being so militant and opinionated gives animal lovers a bad rep.
        Keep your opinions to yourself unless you have all the facts….and still keep it to yourself. It helps no one now.

    2. Courtney Paige says:

      how do YOU know the owner looked that hard? do you know the owner? I know that, first off, if there was a fire in my apartment, you bet ur ass I wouldn’t budge without my cats. second off, in the case that I did HAVE to leave them I’d immediately return once the fire was put out and raise hell to try and find them!! You are quite obnoxious with your attacks.

      1. katie says:

        Dont be stupid people!
        As someone who has actually had a house fire, you dont understand the amount of DESTRUCTION that is caused….Its not like you can just take a stroll thru the home, opening up some closet doors to look for an animal.
        Not like you can climb up and down stairs that are NOT THERE anymore either!
        Glad Lola is okay, and hope the owner enjoys many happy years with her!

  7. pibble says:

    the fire men are not blind. if it was a unconscious human they would not make noise either the firemen would have to actually look for them.
    I am glad Lola made it thru this but I don’t care if I die doing it I will save my dogs in a fire any day I would not leave them alone ever.

    1. kwanda53 says:

      i agree….i would not leave without my dogs, and if I had to, I’d die trying to save them…however, this was still a happy story….

  8. anon says:

    The difference is a dog might run away, while you could most likely get in touch with any people who might have been in the house.

  9. John Dumas says:

    We need a little good news once in awhile.

    1. daren says:

      I second this comment…

  10. Terri says:

    I’m so glad she’s ok!

  11. juliana says:

    She waited A WHOLE MONTH “to pick up some belongings”?!? Why didn’t she come back sooner TO LOOK FOR A DOG? Instead, she immediately assumed that the dog was dead and did not even TRY to rescue her! Yeah, “wonderful” story indeed…

    1. daren says:

      umm…didya read the part of the article that says the fire completely destroyed the building…? complete = in it’s entirety
      didya wonder if the fire dept needed to complete an arson investigation thereby delaying the return of any residents to claim any belongings?

      1. Taylor says:

        If it was completely destroyed what belongings would she have to pick up? Your ignorance is showing! :-o

      2. Taylor says:

        If there were an arson investigation don’t you think they would have found the dog? Dachshunds are notorious barkers… I mean come on, dude, how hard is it to find a dog in a house?

    2. KK says:

      Juliana, have you experienced a house fire? Where you lost everything?? I did back in April 2009. I was not allowed back into the house for a week or so because it was not safe. Come to find out many times when fires happen the owners are NOT allowed back inside until the place dries out. You can’t just walk in and grab your stuff. They board up the entire house, put new locks on everything and only when you set up a meeting and the fire department goes in first and deems it safe are you allowed in to get your stuff (that is if there is anything left). Someone who has no experienced such a terrible ordeal would not know this, so yes she probably had to wait up to a month before her place was safe enough to go in and see if anything was able to be saved.

      Also, when my place burnt down, animals were involved. I can’t say enough about how kind and supportive the fire fighters were that responded to the fire and how much time they spent looking for the dog and 3 cats that where missing. They were inside in the building looking much longer than anyone every would expect, both during and well after the fire was out.

      I am so happy that Terisa was able to walk away with one that she loved from this terrible day. After losing everything in one quick minute to have just one thing that makes you smile can make even the toughest days seem just a little easier. Losing everything in a fire is awful and takes months/years to recover from. My heart and thoughts are with everyone that was invovled. And a special thank you to all the fire fighters out there.

  12. joan says:

    I agree completely with juliana. She waited a whole month???

    1. daren says:

      and didya read any other articles that describe the owner as having looked for the dog? Yup, people..the dog’s owner actually cared enough to look for the dog…

      1. joan says:

        get a life daren

    2. Annie says:

      People should get their facts straight before opening their mouths. Terisa did in fact look for her dog as soon as she found out her house was in flames. She thought she had lost Lola to the devistating fire, since she lost EVERYTHING else. She was relieved to hear that the fire department did not find Lola’s remains in the rubble, and it gave her hope that she was indeed alive. She searched everywhere for Lola and could not find her. Finally a month later, she did in fact find her. I’m so happy for Terisa and it is in a great story to hear. People need to stop trying to find the negative in something positive.

  13. Tricia says:

    Wow, Daren I agree with you, most of these people obviously don’t know the whole story, as demonstrated by their comments.

    I read all the comments before deciding to post, and all I can say is, seems to me she tried to locate the dog, it took her a month to go back because that’s when she was finally allowed back, lay off the poor lady and her dog.

    1. daren says:

      Thanks Tricia…I try to at least look at other sources to see if any additional information is posted elsewhere…and always give the person the benefit of the doubt.

      Too bad people aren’t this riled up about the owner of the two year old German Shephard who WAS LEFT CHAINED UP OUTSIDE WITH FOOD BUT NO WATER…if anyone wants to target an animal abuser that owner is a living bulls-eye if you ask me…

  14. 1stackmack says:

    l thought cats had 9 lives,not dogs.

  15. Fields says:

    I just hope that the woman IS indeed a good owner to this little dog and provides her with lots of love and good care.

    1. d says:

      ( just based on seeing the picture on the owner’s facebook page my guess is she is a good owner…she’s beaming from ear to ear cuddling the pup…)

  16. kwanda53 says:

    I’m sure she will…I saw her when they spoke to her and she was crying…you could tell she loved her very much

  17. Dan S. says:

    I agree Daren, the house was destroyed, so the Fd and Pd had to do theyre investigtation and then the Building was problaby condemed wich the residents were NOT allowed back inside until the towns building offical could deem it safe, and he couldnt even look at it until the Fd and Pd finished processesing the scene. Until the Fire Marshal says its not arson its treated like a crime scene. Like some one posted earlier, the dog was aware of unfamilier people in the house, and chose to hide. She tried multiple times to try to look for him. Lets be happy that theyre reunited, and stop trying to turn a happy story into a politcal statement.

  18. Michelle Lynn says:

    Miracle that this dog is still alive!

  19. stagnantki says:

    Is there a way to send a donation to Terisa and Lola?

    1. d says:

      i was wondering the same myself…Angel Mem being such a well known hospital may not be inexpensive and if the owner is now looking at expenses she wasn’t planning on due to the fire…if I can figure it out, i’ll post again

  20. daren says:


    You can read more about Lola and donate here:

    Funds collected will go to help Lola first, with any extra above and beyond the cost of her care going to Pet Care Assistance, which helps people afford care for their pets here at Angell.

    You can also donate over the phone with a debit/credit card at 617.541.5046.
    Cory Berry-Whitlock
    Development Assistant

  21. Margie says:

    I happen to know the owner and I know for a fact that she posted flyers, contacted all of the animals shelters in the area. Posted online statements about her dog that she believed may of ran away. The FD stated they did not find any animals in the house DEAD or ALIVE so Terisa was hopeful that she got out of the house and ran away from the fire. She went back to the house all of the time to check the area for her and had neighbors looking for her as well. She was not allowed back into the house at all, so all of you that think you know it all….YOU KNOW NOTHING!!!!! I am sure there is something else that you could be doing besides picking on this poor young girl and her dog!! Just be happy they found each other again, and that they can go back to their lives together…oh and so you know, Terisa is a Boston EMS worker that dedicates her life to saving people everyday!!!

    1. Daren says:

      Thanks, Margie…some people have such a hard time being fair/civil in situations like this…like when people tell other people to get a life…but they’re posting on here, too.

      I for one am very happy the pup was found. I asked Angell yesterday about how to donate and the woman told me they hoped Lola would be able to tolerate food soon and go home to her mom…I hope she gets better soon…

      and please let Terisa know she has a lot of people ‘out here’ pulling for her and her puppy…thanks!!!

  22. hardwicktammy says:

    great story treat lola like a queen, she deserves it…

  23. Arlene says:

    It’s always nice to hear a story like that. Good luck to Lola and her “Mom”.

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