Thousands of Dollars Raised for Woman Burned Jumping in Yellowstone Hot Spring to Save Dog

A woman who suffered serious burns while attempting to rescue her dog from a thermal hot spring at Yellowstone National Park has been inundated with donations to help cover the costs of her recovery.

Laiha Slayton, 20, was visiting the park with her father, Woodrow, on Tuesday when the incident occurred in the vicinity of Fountain Flat Drive south of Madison Junction.

While exiting the car with their two Shih Tzu puppies, Rusty and Chevy, one of the dogs, Rusty, ended up running into Maiden's Grave Spring near the Firehole River. According to the National Park Service, the temperature of Maiden's Grave Spring is 200F.

Laiha jumped into the boiling hot waters to save the dog. She was subsequently rescued by her father and taken to West Yellowstone, Montana, where she received first aid from park rangers and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District.

Laiha was then transported to the Burn Center at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

According to an update posted to GoFundMe by her sister, Kamilla Slayton, Laiha suffered second-degree burns on around 70% of her body and third-degree burns on 20%.

She has been placed in a medically induced coma and is expected to remain under for two to three weeks and her hospital recovery will continue for several months after that.

Rusty sadly died as a result of his injuries.

Writing on the fundraising page, Kamilla described the extent of some of the injuries suffered by her sibling: "My sister's palms are completely gone and will have to go into surgery and possibly for the rest of her body too," she wrote.

According to the post her father, Woodrow, suffered thermal burns to his foot.

The GoFundMe page was set up by Kamilla to help cover the costs of the medical expenses and vet bills incurred as a result of the accident. The funds will also cover the cost of Laiha's parents' out-of-state stay while their daughter recovers.

At the time of writing more $25,875 had been raised toward the initial target of $45,000. Since setting up the page, Kamilla has also provided an update on her sister's condition.

In a statement posted to Instagram under the handle kamijoslayton, she said Laiha was "stable and healing slowly and at a good rate" and that she had undergone two surgeries since being admitted.

However, she warned that Laiha remains in a serious condition at this point as she is "most vulnerable to infection right now."

Kamilla said Leiha will go through the process of debridement, which involves the removal of dead skin and is designed to promote healthy skin growth, over the next two weeks.

She added that the fact her sister has no other health issues "works really well in favor" and that the burns suffered "seem to be better than they had initially thought" with doctors apparently identifying "mostly" second rather than third degree burns.

"This means that our dad pulled her out insanely fast," she wrote. "She's incredibly lucky. Dad saved her life...She was in the scalding water for about 8 seconds."

Newsweek has contacted Kamilla for comment.

In the wake of the incident, the NPS has issued a warning urging visitors to exercise caution, particularly when visiting Yellowstone National Park in the company of a pet.

"The ground in hydrothermal areas is fragile and thin, and there is scalding water just below the surface," they said. "Everyone must remain on boardwalks and trails and exercise extreme caution around thermal features."

"Pets must be in a car, crate or on a leash no more than six feet long," they added. "They are not allowed on boardwalks, hiking trails, in the backcountry, or in thermal areas."

The incident is the second of its kind to be reported at the national park this year.

On September 16, a 19-year-old woman from Rhode Island suffered second and third degree burns to 5 percent of her body after falling into thermal water near the cone of a geyser known as Old Faithful.

Geyer Hill in Yellowstone National Park.
Geyser Hill in Yellowstone National Park - a 20-year-old woman suffered burns to 90 percent of her body after jumping into a geyser at the park to rescue her dog. AaronP/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty