In Magna, Utah, a 40-year-old man has been arrested after police allege he lit a dog on fire near Interstate 80 on Monday evening. Michael Busico was booked into the Toeele County jail on Tuesday pending multiple charges; he is being held without bail and has been accused of:
- Torture of a companion animal, a third-degree felony
- Arson, damage between $1,500 and $5,000 or prior conviction, a third-degree felony
- Theft, a class B misdemeanor
- Criminal trespass, a class B misdemeanor
According to the Deseret News, the Unified Police discovered the female red tick heeler after a witness saw Busico light the dog on fire and called police. The dog was found walking slowly along the road and did not hesitate to jump into their vehicle and brought to Salt Lake County Animal Services and subsequently to a veterinarian hospital for emergency treatment.
Police contend Busico had stolen the dog from his ex-girlfriend’s home after visiting – allegedly telling the woman he wanted to give the dog some “treats.” When the owner returned a short time later, the dog and Busico were gone.
Busico was alleged to have been in an argument with the dog’s owner over money and their past failed relationship.
The dog remains in critical condition and has since been reunited with her owner. She sustained second and third degree burns to his head, pelvis, hind end, belly and mouth. She remains on fluids and pain medication; her prognosis is still unknown.
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