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Philly man charged with setting dog on fire

phillydogA Philadelphia man has been accused of pouring rubbing alcohol over a puppy and setting it on fire.

The 5-month-old pit bull mix was burned “very badly,” said Pennsylvania SPCA officials who took part in the arrest. The puppy, which rescuers named Rudy, was being treated last night at the SPCA facility on East Erie Avenue.

The dog’s neck and ears were charred, its whiskers were burned off, and one of its corneas was seared. The animal also had been burned repeatedly with a cigarette. “It’s going to be disfigured, and maybe also blind in one eye,” said George Bengal, the SPCA’s director of law enforcement.

John William Fleet III, 33, was taken into custody Friday at his home in Northeast Philadelphia and charged with animal cruelty, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer.

On Thursday night, police say, Fleet had his two children — a 6-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl — hold the dog while he covered it with alcohol. Bengal said authorities believe the suspect became enraged after the dog nipped at the children.

The incident came to light when a counselor at Harding Middle School heard what happened and notified the SPCA.

Police, after not being allowed into the house, broke through a window to gain entrance and found the dog in the basement. Fleet told investigators the dog was burned accidentally.

 The children last night were staying with their mother at another location.


Comment from Starla
Time January 31, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Wow…This story is heartbreaking. For the poor puppy that endured being burned repeatedly (and who knows what else) for simply being a puppy. I mean c’mon…puppies nip & mouth…they are teething. But for the children, age 6 & 12 who were made to hold the puppy & witness the abuse. I sure hope they get some professional help for these kids, so they don’t think that this is normal behavior for training or treating any animal. Their Father is clearly a Sadistic Phsyco. I hope he gets more than a slap on the wrist & the kids are helped to see that what he did was Cruel & Inhumane. Poor Rudy! Please kindly update us on his recovery.

Comment from Valerie
Time January 31, 2010 at 4:20 pm

He needs to be charged with child abuse as well.

Comment from Sue
Time January 31, 2010 at 10:01 pm

That poor little puppy suffered for how long and then to be put in the basement with no medical care. The father is a coward to pick on an innocent little puppy.Thank God his children told someone. He should be punished to the fullest extent and never be permitted to see his children or have any animals. I pray Rudy recovers and finds a good home. Thank you officers for getting into this house and saving this puppy from more pain and abuse. I hope the children are ok and get counseling also. The father should be tortured and burned like he did to this puppy.