Tuesday, April 10, 2012 , Updated 10:35 a.m., April 10, 2012
UPDATED: Animal rescue groups seek justice for 4-month-old puppy set on fire
The dog may recover, but he has second- and third-degree burns over 60% of his body.
A representative from Metroplex Animal Coalition reports that a 4-month-old puppy was lit on fire last week. Dallas police are looking for leads in this case and are investigating it as animal cruelty, a felony.
The puppy was named Justice and is currently undergoing treatment for burns on 60% of his body. He's being cared for by DFW Rescue Me.
[UPDATE: The city of Dallas reports that a special hotline has been created to receive information about this crime. Confidential calls can be made to 214-373-8477. A reward of $5,000 is available from the SPCA of Texas to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction those responsible.]
Here's more information from Metroplex Animal Coalition:
A 4-month-old Lab-terrier puppy is fighting for its life after being doused with lighter fluid and set on fire last week. The puppy, who has been named Justice, is now under the care of local animal-welfare group DFW Rescue Me while police investigate the crime.
Tuesday, April 4, around 9 p.m. Dallas police responded to reports of a dog on fire in Pleasant Grove in southeast Dallas. When officers arrived on the scene, they found the puppy badly burned and hiding behind an air conditioning unit. Police contacted Dallas Animal Services, which in turn contacted DFW Rescue Me. A volunteer with the group immediately transported the puppy to an emergency clinic for treatment.
The brindle-and-white puppy has second- and third-degree burns over 60% of his body, with most of the burns on his legs, back and face. Jim Wenger, president of DFW Rescue Me, said he is “cautiously optimistic” that the puppy, who still has his baby teeth, will survive. Wenger said that Justice’s condition remains guarded. Doctors won’t know if he will require additional surgeries for skin grafts until they can completely assess the extent of his burns.
According to the police report, there is also evidence that the suspects tried to hang the puppy before setting him on fire.
The puppy was named Justice in memory of another Pleasant Grove dog who was set on fire exactly three years ago, on April 4, 2009. That Justice and a female dog named Hope were euthanized because of the severity of their wounds. In that case, police quickly arrested two 17-year-olds, Jucorey Davis and Lefferreio Sudds. Both were charged with two counts of felony animal cruelty and torture, and both pleaded guilty. Sudds was sentenced to four years in prison, and Davis received 45 days jail time and 10 months probation.
Ironically, April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month. In April 2006, in a case that made international news, DeShawn Brown of Dallas poured gasoline over his dog Mercy, set her on fire and left her to die. A jury found Brown guilty of felony animal cruelty and sentenced him to four years in prison.
Police are encouraging anyone with information regarding Justice or those responsible for torturing him to call 911. Animal cruelty is a State Jail felony in Texas. With the enhancement of use of a deadly weapon, as in this case, the punishment range is two to 10 years in prison.
Donations for Justice’s ongoing medical care can be made to DFW Rescue Me at www.dfwrescueme.org. Updates on Justice’s condition will be posted on DFW Rescue Me’s Facebook page. DFW Rescue Me is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose goal is to reduce the number of animals euthanized in Dallas by spaying/neutering, adoption programs and education about responsible pet ownership.
Posted by Sarah
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