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Pit bull found set on fire fights for life


Thanks to a quick-thinking Baltimore City police officer, and hours of medical attention from shelter workers and vets, a pit bull found set on fire Wednesday is alive today.

Whether she will be tomorrow is another question.

The young female pit bull was found in Southwest Baltimore doused with gasoline and left to burn to death.  Baltimore City police officer Syreeta Teel went to the dog’s aid and put the fire out with her sweater.

“She was fully in flames,” Teel told WJZ. “There were people around, but nobody was doing anything, so I got out of the car, took off my sweater and started hitting her to put the fire out.

“”It was just sad, because I’ve never heard a dog make this sound.  This scream that he made, I’ve never heard before.”

The dog was taken to  the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), where Jennifer Mead- Brause, executive director, said that, despite the intense pain the dog was in, she arrived wagging her tail.

Using emergency money  from BARCS Franky Fund, staff took the dog — nicknamed Phoenix — to  Swan Harbor Animal Hospital for initial lifesaving care.

“There’s not one part spared,” said Swan Harbor’s veterinarian, Marcella Bonner. “I’ve seen it on the back, on the tail on the ears.  I’ve never seen it on the whole body.”

The dog also had puncture wounds, a sign she was used in dogfights, Mead-Brause said.

“She is certainly not out of the woods,” BARCS reported. ” She has suffered horrific burns over 95% of her body.  The fire stripped the fur and flesh from her small figure.”  Even the pads of her feet were burned off.

“No animal deserves this type of treatment,” said Mead-Brause. “This is one of the most severe cases of animal cruelty I’ve ever seen.”

There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for setting fire to the dog, and all tips are confidential.  To provide information, call 410-396-4698 and ask for the Animal Enforcement Officer Supervisor at the Bureau of Animal Control. 

BARCS is accepting donations both for the reward fund and for the Franky Fund, which helps provide immediate medical attention to seriously ill or injured animals like Phoenix.

(Photo: Courtesy of BARCS)


Comment from bluhawkk
Time May 28, 2009 at 5:43 pm


Comment from dan
Time May 28, 2009 at 6:23 pm

i cannot believe the demented shit people will do.

if i ever saw something like that going down, i wouldn’t stand there and fucking WATCH. i’d have my shirt off in a second.

the motherfuckers who did that deserve to be burned half to hell. i’d sure be happy to help.

nothing but all my prayers for that dog.

Comment from Anne’n’Spencer
Time May 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

So hurt–so very, very hurt. I want this little girl to pull through and find a loving home. And if she can’t, I want her to know that people cared about her before she has to go.

Comment from feefifoto
Time May 28, 2009 at 9:02 pm

I barely have words to express how disgusted and angry this makes me. People can be so cruel to animals. Does this make them feel big and important, torturing helpless creatures?

Comment from bluhawkk
Time May 29, 2009 at 5:59 am

Please be sure to follow up on her condition.

Comment from Victoria
Time May 29, 2009 at 10:38 am

I just heard about this today….and it makes me sick. WTF is wrong with people. I am half tempted to ride over to West Baltimore, find the bastard and light their ass on fire. I really do not care if I go to jail….there needs to be justice for that poor animal. If she recovers I would adopt her and give her a loving home. I hope the person that did it and everyone that stood around and did nothing all drop dead. I hope they die horrific and painfull deaths if I do not find them first. I will pray for Phoenix….she did not deserve that…no animal does.

Comment from VANESSA
Time May 29, 2009 at 11:15 am

As a proud owner of 3 beautiful, smart, loving and caring pitbulls. Here are my 2 cents in. I agree with everyone, and I also think that 3 years of jail time is not enough. The individual needs to either be locked up for 10 years or the eye for an eye rule should be applied in this case. He should be placed in the middle of downtown and lit on fire too! Also, as a comunity, we should get together and request a public hearing or hold a protest demanding that a harsher punishment be placed upon the individual.

Comment from Rina Raymond
Time May 29, 2009 at 12:39 pm

I have no words to express the sadness & cruelty Phoenix has been put through and I pray that she survives & wags her tail at the people who have done everything to save her.I cannot understand how someone could do this!

Comment from corey & erin
Time May 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

This appalls me that people can be so cruel to animals, especially to such a young beautiful dog like this. I can not even express my absolute hatred and disgust for people who can do this to animals and/or sit by and watch this happen. I wish to god I was there I would have set those assholes on fire! All it would have took was someone with at least half a brain or half a heart to put the fire out or to stop this cruel act from even happening! I’m going to pray for this animal every day as well as the other animals who are abused and tortured, and pray that all of the mother f’ers that put them through this pay for their actions.

Comment from Lloyd C. Tinker
Time May 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm

and people are afraid of pit bulls! dogs don’t do this kind of thing only people do! Hopefully they will publish the name of the person who did this.

Comment from Aunt Gwen
Time May 29, 2009 at 4:29 pm

You go girl! I am very proud of you. May God keep and continously protect you in the streets of Baltimore City as you help keep the pubic safe.

Comment from Michelle
Time May 31, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Sadly, Phoenix lost her fight early this morning. RIP baby girl.