Police seek suspects in reported animal cruelty case - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Arrest made after dog dies from burn injuries

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FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The canine reportedly burned by a group of teens in Florence has died, and authorities have made one arrest in the case.

Major Carlos Raines, spokesman for the Florence County Sheriff's Office, tells WMBF News that the City of Florence Police Department arrested a 14 year-old in relation to the case.  The boy has been charged with animal cruelty and third degree arson.  He was sent to DJJ in Columbia.

Raines says on Saturday at approximately 11:50 a.m., police received a report of animal cruelty on the 800 block of Oakland Avenue near the park.

The caller told police they were driving down Oakland Avenue when they spotted a group of people standing over what appeared to be a dog, then dousing it with lighter fluid and setting it on fire.

Police couldn't find a dog when they searched the park area, but Raines says they received a call from a dog owner just moments later reported that someone had set fire to their pet.

The chow, husky mix was found a street over from the park with burnt skin, and though the dog was alive and walking, it was transported to the veterinarian's office by the owner.

Witnesses reported seeing four to five teens in the park laughing as they stood over the dog watching it burn. One of them was possibly wearing a dark sundress.

Police went to the apartments on Oakland Avenue to question a group of kids and four black males on the porch ran inside when police drove up, Raines said. A black female in a black sundress told police she ran outside when she heard the dog and poured water on it.

Raines adds that the dog succumbed to his injuries on Monday. Police are still investigating and urge anyone with information to come forward.

Florence resident Rondell Washington lives near where the alleged animal cruelty occurred, and says neighbors are now taking extra steps to protect their animals from harm.

"A lot of people say they're taking them in at night," Washington said. "I heard a of people down the street saying they were going to lock theirs up and keep checking on them at night time, it's bad."

Washington says he hopes the suspects in this case are caught.

"I think it's terrible man," Washington said. "Hopefully there will be some justice done for that.  That someone's dog man, that's wrong."

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved

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