DALLAS -- An animal rescue group has reached out to the public after a 4-month-old lab-terrier was found severely burned last week in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood of Dallas, read a statement released by the organization.
Police said the puppy, who has been named "Justice" in honor of another Pleasant Grove dog that was set on fire three years ago, was doused with lighter fluid and then set on fire. They said evidence also suggests someone attempted to strangle the dog with a rope before setting him on fire.
The puppy was found behind an air conditioning unit at an apartment complex in the 1200 block of North Masters Drive in Pleasant Grove last Tuesday night. Witnesses described seeing a group of teen boys trying to strangle Justice with a rope before setting him on fire. A girl who saw what was happening intervened, using a T-shirt to put out the fire, police said.
The puppy suffered second to third-degree burns on over 60 percent of his body. He was transferred to City Vet in Dallas after spending a week in a 24-hour emergency animal clinic in Denton.
Jim Wenger, president of DFW Rescue Me, said he is "cautiously optimistic" that Justice will recover.
A special hotline has been set up for information pertaining to the case. Phone calls can be made anonymously to 214-373-8477. The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is offering a $5,000 reward for any tips leading to an arrest.
Police say those responsible are facing felony charges for torturing Justice.
Donations to help fund Justice's ongoing medical care can be made to DFW Rescue Me.
WFAA.com's Marjorie Owens contributed to this report