Neighbors on Lindsey Drive in Decatur, Georgia, were horrified by what they saw before noon on Dec. 5.
Good Samaritans rushed to help when they saw a large, cream-colored labradoodle-type dog on fire, running down the street. Thankfully, the flames were put out, but the dog was left in critical condition.
Since then, the Dog Days Rescue have been caring for the poor, sweet boy and DeKalb County police have offered a reward for information about the person responsible for such a horrible act of cruelty.
“WE NEED YOUR HELP FINDING WHO SET A DOG ON FIRE!” the DeKalb County Police Department wrote in a Facebook post on Wednesday. “On December 5, a large male Labradoodle was found engulfed in flames between 10 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Lindsey Drive in Decatur.
“The tan & cream dog was running on the road before witnesses put out the fire. The dog survived but is in critical condition. If you have any info about the owner or the person responsible, please call Det. Watson at 404-286-7990 or Crime Stoppers Greater Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS. You may be eligible for up to $2,000.”
Dog Days Rescue said that since it has gotten the dog, he’d been at a partner vet, receiving silver cream for his burns, antibiotics, IV medications and as many painkillers as was safe to give him.
“Tomorrow, he’ll be debrided, a process that is going to be a part of his life for quite awhile,” the group shared in a Facebook post on Tuesday. “The doctor has him scheduled for an hour and a half for his first debridement. This is for removal of necrotic skin and cleaning underneath, which he has a lot of. He will likely need to go through this painful process daily as he heals. Unfortunately, things will get worse before they get better. That’s the nature of burns like his.”
The rescue group also said it had seen scars that suggested prior mistreatment, and asked for the public’s help to pay for the dog’s medical bills, which will likely start at around $5,000.
Neighbors who heard about the incident were furious, telling WSB-TV they were hoping for justice.
“It’s sickening, honestly,” Decatur resident Shallissa Dufresne told the station. “That’s disheartening, honestly, to hear that anybody could do that to, you know, it’s a living, breathing thing.
“You had the intent to harm or kill this defenseless animal, so now you need to get the time or whatever punishment coming to you.”
“The world we live in is cruel,” resident Paige Reid told WSB. “You can’t just harm these animals. They’re like humans.”
According to police, the owner of the dog has been located and police are looking into the case while the dog continues to receive treatment at the veterinary hospital. The rescue group has since removed the more graphic images from its Facebook page due to the active investigation.
The most recent update on the dog — who has been nicknamed “Will” for his strong will to survive — is that slowly but surely, he is healing.
“There isn’t much to update today, which is good!” the rescue group wrote in a Facebook post published Thursday. “We are praying that there aren’t any surprise complications. As you can see by his sleepy face, the pain management seems to be doing its job well!”
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