04/15/08 — Boy sets family's terrier on fire

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Boy sets family's terrier on fire

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on April 15, 2008 2:01 PM

A Wayne County teenager is facing charges of animal cruelty after a dog in the Dudley area suffered burns in a backyard fire.

Officers at the Wayne County Animal Control Department were alerted to the incident after receiving an anonymous complaint on March 18.

"The caller stated the dog had been intentionally burned the night before," said Justin Scally, Wayne County's Animal Control Director.

Scally and his officers began an investigation into the complaint, conducting interviews and collecting evidence.

"What we discovered was that a 14-year-old male subject placed the family's 1-year-old Jack Russell terrier into a baby stroller," he said. "The young man then pushed the stroller into the back yard and up a ramp-like structure."

He explained that the structure was located in an area of the back yard being used to burn trash and debris, and that somehow, the dog ended up out of the stroller and in the fire.

The teen also later allegedly threatened the family after a verbal argument stating that he would "squirt lighter fluid on the dog and set it on fire" according to statements obtained by investigators.

The youth was charged with felony animal cruelty.

The dog received minor burns, but has recovered from the incident.

"These types of intentional abuse will not be tolerated" Scally said. "It is important to provide the help necessary to animals, but we also want to get help for the accused teenager, if convicted."

A secure custody order has been issued for the 14-year-old as a result of this incident.