Russell was badly burned when Strickland's house caught fire January 12. The home was destroyed and Strickland lost several other pets.
"I love them, just like they're part of the family," said Strickland.
Russell was missing for three days before Strickland's daughter found him and rushed him to the Animal Emergency Hospital and Urgent Care in Raleigh.
"He really touched my heart right away," said Veterinarian Vicki Sellers. "And, I wanted to help them, and so what we decided to do was, yes, we're going to work with this family. They've lost so much already, this is something we can do to help."
But the animal hospital is a small private practice and they couldn't absorb all the costs themselves. So they took to Facebook, where people have since made generous donations to cover all of Russell's medical bills so far.
Sellers says she's amazed at the progress Russell has made. He is recovering, but still has a long way to go. It could be days, weeks, even months, and so they do need help to continue paying for his costly medical bills.
If you are able to donate, call at (919) 781-5145 or you can mail donations to 409 Vick Ave, Raleigh, NC 27612. There is also a Paypal account for donations on the hospital's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnimalEmergencyHospitalAndUrgentCare.