Sunday, July 18, 2010

Animal Shelter To Investigate Another Burned Puppy In Greensboro


Nearly a year after a burned puppy was found in a Greensboro park and on the same day people gather to celebrate her survival, another burned puppy fights for its life at a veterinarian clinic. Guilford County Animal Shelter Director Marsha Williams says last night a Greensboro couple found the burned animal near the intersection of Summit Avenue and Bessemer.
The four-month-old puppy has burns over 45-50 percent of its body that are severely infected. A doctor at the veterinarian clinic where the dog is being treated says it's stable and on an IV, but will need extensive care.
Williams says the injured puppy, which is a lab/pit bull mix, will be transported to the animal shelter Monday for extended care.
The expenses for that care will come out of Susie's Fund, which coincidentally held a fundraiser today at Anton's Restaurant on Battleground Avenue.

Update July 22, 2010 9:59pm - The following article is from Winston-Salem Journal:

Police continue burnt-dog case

Detectives trying to determine who burned a puppy found on Sunday say they believe that they were given false information about where the dog was found.
Police now believe that the 4-month-old puppy was found near Llano Place and Maury Lane, nearly four miles from the location initially reported.
Detective E. J. Bruscino said he believes that the people who brought in Phoenix, the pit bull-Labrador mix, falsely reported finding him at East Bessemer and Summit avenues.
Police have identified several people of interest.
"This is our No. 1 priority right now, and we have all the resources necessary to go forward in this investigation," Bruscino said. "Our supervisor has pledged as much manpower as we need."
Despite his infected burns, Phoenix is in good condition. He is under the care of the Guilford County Animal Shelter.
"We're still keeping an eye on him to make sure he's comfortable and not in any pain," the shelter's Dana King said.
Crime Stoppers is offering up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of the those who set Phoenix on fire. Dean Green of Green Ford is offering another reward of up to $1,000. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 373-1000.

Update July 30, 2010 1:15pm - The following article is from iStock Analyst:

4 Charged With Burning Dog

Four people have been charged with burning a dog.
Greensboro police said Harvey Gales Jr., 17, of 7 Pear Tree Court has been charged with felony cruelty to animals, felony burning of personal property and felony conspiracy. Gales is being held in the Guilford County jail. His bond was not immediately available.
Three juveniles also were charged. Police said two of them, both 15, are being held in the county's juvenile detention center. A 10-year-old was released to a parent.
The dog, a 4-month old pit bull-Labrador mix known as Phoenix, remains in critical but stable condition at the Guilford County Animal Shelter. He suffered severe burns over 40 to 50 percent of his body, mostly on his back half, and is battling infection
Police said the dog was burned July 13 or 14, but was not brought to a veterinarian for treatment until July 19. The dog's owner, Juan Gonzalez of Maury Lane, was out of town when the dog was injured.
A couple found the dog early July 19 near the intersection of Summit and East Bessemer avenues and brought him to Happy Tails Veterinary Emergency Clinic on Battleground Avenue.
Two days later, police said they believed that the dog was actually found near Llano Place and Maury Lane, four miles from where it was initially reported.
Police did not say if the four people charged today were connected with the finding of the dog. Police have given no motive for injuring the dog.

Update July 30, 2010 11:01pm - The following article is by Ryan Seals, News & Record:

Police: Dog burning act of 'pure teen meanness'

Four youths were arrested Friday in the burning of a puppy earlier this month in what a police captain described as “pure teen meanness.”
Police believe the children poured ignitor fluid on cloth, attached it to the puppy, then lit it on fire.
Harvey Gales Jr., 17, of 7 Pear Tree Court, two 15 year olds and one 10 year old have been charged in the puppy burning. Phoenix is a four-month-old pit bull-Labrador mix found with severely burned on July 19.
Harvey Gales Jr.
Gales was charged with felony cruelty to animals, felony burning of personal property and felony conspiracy. He was booked into the Guilford County jail on a $25,000 bond.
The 15 year olds were charged and placed in the Regional Juvenile Detention Center. The 10 year old was charged and released to the custody of a parent.
One 15 year old and the 10 year old are from Greensboro. At least one is related to Giles, Rogers said.
The second 15 year old is from Hamlet in Richmond County. Police are not releasing the names of the juveniles.
“I think this was pure teen meanness,” said Capt. Janice Rogers.
“It’s a heinous crime against a defenseless animal for grins and giggles.”
She said detectives believe that on July 13 or 14, the children were walking by the home and spotted the dog tied in the back yard.
“The juveniles in passing by saw the dog and took the opportunity to do what they did to it,” Rogers said.
“We believe they, in some fashion, poured some ignitor fluid on some cloth or other item, attached it to the dog and then lit it on fire.”
Police got involved on July 19, when they were called to Happy Trails Veterinary Clinic on Battleground Avenue.
A couple brought the dog to the clinic with severe burns on 40 to 50 percent of his body, mostly on the back half.
Phoenix, as he was later named, remains in critical but stable condition at the Guilford County Animal Shelter.
The couple originally told police they found Phoenix at the intersection of Summit and Bessemer avenues.
Rogers said detectives realized after interviews that was not the case. They tracked the dog to 1205 Maury Lane and through tips to Crime Stoppers were led to the youths.
The home belongs to Juan Gonzalez, who has been out of town since before Phoenix was burned.
His wife, Olga Gonzalez, and children live at the home. She said the couple who found the dog — family members from out of town — spotted the dog’s injuries and took him to the vet.
Olga Gonzalez said Friday she believed — at the advice of a neighbor — the dog had been in a fight with other dogs or suffered insect bites.
She said the couple told police they found the dog somewhere else to protect her family from becoming involved in a police investigation.
Rogers said it doesn’t appear the youths burned the dog in a grudge against the family, nor was it done as a copycat crime to the Susie case, another puppy found burned in Greensboro last August.
“They were passing through, saw the opportunity, took the opportunity and committed this crime,” Rogers said.
“They have even made comments to us that ‘this was just a dog.’”
The Gonzalez family said the dog’s name real name is “Venom.”
“We are relieved. (The police) were blaming my son and I’m glad now they won’t blame my family,” Olga Gonzalez said in Spanish through an interpreter.
“It’s inhumane to walk by and hurt a puppy who wasn’t doing anything.”
Olga Gonzalez said she feels sympathy for the 10 year old, who she believes was following the lead of the older children. She said she wants “justice served” in the cases involving the other youths.
“These people have no heart,” she said.
A woman who identified herself as Giles’ mother, but would not give her name, had no comment at the family’s home Friday.
She would only say: “My children have been embarrassed enough.”
None of the youths will be subject to Susie’s Law, which was signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Bev Perdue at the backing of local residents.
The law increased the penalties for animal cruelty to ensure convicted offenders serve some jail time.
The new law goes into effect on Dec. 1 and cannot be applied retroactively.
Giles has no prior adult criminal record, which means he likely will be subject to probation if convicted.

Contact Ryan Seals at 373-7077 or

Update August 12, 2010 5:51pm - The following article is by Alan Wagmeister,
Phoenix On Way To Make A Full Recovery

A puppy found in July with severe burns continues his road to recovery.
Workers at the Guilford County Animal Shelter says that Phoenix loves to play with chew toys.  He is also enjoying the opportunity to exercise for about 15 to 20 minutes a day.
"We are starting to see a lot of improvement and one of his legs is completely healed. The burn wounds, he is making a full recovery he is doing great, he's a bundle of joy and energy," said Marsha Williams, Director of the Guilford County Animal Shelter.
The 5-month-old lab/pit bull mix was taken to a veterinary office on July 17 with burns over 45-50 percent of his body.  The injuries were severely infected.
On July 30, 17-year-old Harvey Gales, Jr. and three minors were charged in relation to the burning of Phoenix. No charges were filed under the new Susie's Law for animal cruelty because it does not take effect until December.


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