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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dog doused in gasoline, set on fire

Incident Date: Sunday, Jan 13, 2008

Arlington police are seeking help in locating possible suspects in a case of animal cruelty.

Police said someone poured gasoline on a family's pet Pomeranian and set him on fire over the weekend.

Spike disappeared from his South Arlington home Friday night. "The doorbell rang about 7:30 Saturday morning, and it was an Arlington Police officer," said owner Ronnie Villaire.

Spike's charred body had been found in an alley just a few blocks away—burned and left for dead. The dog was identified by a tag listing his address in the 900 block of Cortez Drive.

"There was a lot of mixed emotions—from disbelief, to sadness, to anger," Villaire said.

The family has offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to the person or persons who attacked their pet.

"I don't really want to retaliate," Villaire said. "I thought we needed to go to the media like this for public awareness for other animal owners in this area to make sure they know where their pets are."

Noting that he has two small children, Villaire said he was very disturbed to know that a sociopath could be on the prowl in his neighborhood.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arlington Police department at (817) 459-5748.

If you have information on this case, please contact:
Arlington Police
(817) 459-5748

Case Updates

More than $10,000 in reward money is being offered for information about the person who set an Arlington family's Pomeranian on fire this weekend, police said Monday.

Police found the remains of Ronnie and Liz Villaire's 3½-year-old dog Spike in far south Arlington on Saturday, near the family's home in the 900 block of Cortez Drive. He had been doused with gasoline and set afire. On Sunday, the Villaires, who have two small children, offered $2,500 for information about the dog's death.

They haven't gotten any tips, but they've received plenty of support, Ronnie Villaire said Monday.

"I tell you, the phone calls we've gotten from the public in general, people wanting to help with the reward money or people just calling to say they're sorry and animal lovers giving their condolences -- it's just been amazing," he said.

A veterinarian examining Spike's remains determined that the dog suffered a skull fracture and was probably lying down, possibly dead or already unconscious, when he was set on fire, Villaire said.

The bump in reward money came in large part from the Dallas-based Murrell Foundation, headed by ThreeM Oil Co. president John R. Murrell. Murrell is offering $5,000 for the arrest and prosecution of the responsible person.

In addition, the Humane Society of the United States is offering $2,500 and Safe City Commission Crime Stoppers of Tarrant County will pay up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest, Arlington police said.

"Someone will rat their friend out for that kind of money. So I'm thinking eventually someone will come forward," Villaire said.

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