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Dog Set On Fire In Pleasant Grove Dies

A puppy named Justice is fighting for his life after being set on fire in Dallas. (credit: Jim Wenger/DFW Rescue Me)

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The four-month-old puppy that was doused in lighter fluid and set on fire at a Pleasant Grove apartment complex on April 4 died on Friday.

A DFW Rescue Me spokesman said Justice the puppy suffered third-degree burns on 70 percent of his body. In a Facebook note, the animal aid group wrote that the dog's tissue became infected and veterinarians weren't able to keep his blood pressure up.

The dog passed away Friday night.

A police incident report painted a grisly portrait. At about 9 p.m. on April 4, a group of men reportedly doused Justice in lighter fluid and set him on fire. The dog began darting around the complex until a witness caught him and smothered the flames with a shirt.

The puppy was handed over to DFW Rescue Me to receive treatment. Veterinarians said last week they were "cautiously optimistic" that the dog would recover.

Those who worked on the dog said he was showing small signs of improvement: He was wagging his tail and "giving kisses, showing all the good signs of improvement that we like to see," said Dr. Effie Giannopolous of the City Vet veterinary center in Oak Lawn.

None of the suspects have been arrested and a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest remains.

Animal cruelty is a felony in Texas. Because those responsible used a deadly weapon, they'll face a punishment ranging from two to 10 years in jail.

Since the incident was reported, DFW Rescue Me said there's been an outpouring of support and are starting The Justice Fund, which will take donations to provide medical care for abused animals.

"So many individuals and businesses have given to Justice's recovery fund and sent notes of encouragement," the Facebook note reads. "We are sincerely grateful to each of you."

DFW Rescue Me is planning a memorial service for the dog. The group says it will post details for that on its Facebook page.

"We were all so very optimistic about his chances for a full recovery and couldn't wait to see him find a forever home," the note read.

Anyone with information about the case is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (214) 373-8477 or dial 911. The SPCA of Texas is offering that $5,000 reward to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

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