Heart wrenching update for Dixie: Salt Lake City dog set on fire by ex-boyfriend

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In Magna, Utah, Dixie, a four-year-old Red Heeler who suffered second and third-degree burns on most of her body including her face, hind legs and inside of her mouth, was humanely euthanized on Monday – her family there with their arms wrapped around their beloved companion when she took her last breaths.

On the Facebook group, Tooele Lost and Found Pets, Dixie’s owner, Trista Dawn Heywood, tearfully posted her heart wrenching decision:

“This is a very hard thing for me to post and tell everyone but we are going to have to say our goodbyes to our sweet Dixie girl. The hospital is basically keeping her alive her levels have gone down and those are improving but the surgery’s (sic) that she needs to her eyes, ears, and abdomen are going to be very hard on her and she may not make it out of them… the tissue in her eyes are so badly burnt its very damaged so she would be losing her eye sight completely and their (sic) is no healthy skin to be able to do a skin graft on her abdomen where she is very badly burnt. The average red heeler life is any where between 12-15 years and they are only giving her 12-18 months to live and that will be with her being in the hospital for a long period of time and after that always being in and out of the hospital.”
Even if the surgeries were successful, Dixie would not be able to go outside and do everything healthy dogs do. Dixie was suffering, and although the family wanted more than ever to wake up from the nightmare that occurred on March 1, when Michael Paul Busico took Dixie from her home and allegedly set her on fire, ultimately this sweet pup would have no quality of life.
“Our hearts are so broken and we have no words, this is news that we didn’t want to hear. We are at a loss, we were praying so hard that she would make it out of this because she didn’t deserve any of this to happen to her. She is suffering and we can’t continue to let her suffer… we love you so much Dixie and just know you are always in our hearts. I’m so sorry this had to happen to you baby girl.”

Michael Busico was arrested pending multiple charges:

  • 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

As of Monday, formal charges had not been filed as authorities continue to collect evidence.

More than $12,000 had been collected for Dixie’s recovery; any money not used will be donated onto the hospital and other resources that help abused animals.

Rest in peace Dixie.

Read previous article here.

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1 reply
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    I’m so sorry for their loss, so wish the prognosis had been better. I hope and pray they get some justice for her, and they prosecute Michael Paul Busico to the full extent of the law! Rest in peace Dixie, you were loved and didn’t deserve this.

    Reply

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