A heroic boxer dog is fighting for her life after trying to save her owner from a deadly house fire in suburban Cincinnati.
A fire broke out in the basement of Ben Ledford's house. When first-responders arrived they found Ledford lying on the ground with Carmen, his 9-year-old boxer, on top of him attempting to shelter his face from the heat, smoke and flame, WCPO, a CNN affiliate, reported.
"A lot of dogs instinctively know when there's a crisis going on and so a lot of them do go to try to protect their owners, so she very well may have been trying to protect him," Dr. Marlo Anderson told WCPO.
Carmen was brought to Cincinnati's Care Center, a critical care veterinary hospital, where the vets have placed her on a ventilator.
"She's doing okay. Considering what Carmen has been through we think she's doing as well as can be expected," Dr. Daniel Carey, a vet at the hospital, told WCPO.
Carmen is battling severe lung damage, but other than that she is mentally alert and has no apparent neurological damage, Carey told WCPO.
After the incident, Ledford, 33, was taken to a nearby hospital by the first responders where he later died.
As Ledford's family mourns his loss, they continue to fight for Carmen's life. They already raised more than $4,500 towards Carmen's hospital bills on crowdsourcing website CrowdRise.
"We want to tell everyone who is supporting Carmen and passing along their thoughts and prayers how much we appreciate everything," the family wrote on their CrowdRise page. "As we deal with the loss of Carmen's owner, our brother, Ben, it is comforting to know that Carmen has been getting the best care possible. As we receive them, we will continue to provide updates on our sweet, sweet girl."