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'Who Could Do That?': NW Miami-Dade Residents Horrified After Dog Set On Fire

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - An investigation is underway after a dog was set on fire in a northwest Miami-dade neighborhood.

Miami-Dade police said they received a 911 call around 6:45 a.m. that there was a dog on fire. When officers arrived, they found the burned body of a dog near the driveway of a residence at NW 25th Avenue and NW 95th Street.

"I saw a vehicle with its headlights pointed towards a dog on flame," said Marcos, a neighbor.

Marcos told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that he was driving home when he saw that disturbing scene.

"I was driving home and I was going northbound and I saw that vehicle with its headlights pointed toward the dog on flame. I could tell who that person was but with the dog, it looked to me like it was a Pit Bull. Maybe he got hit and maybe his owner decided to put him on flame. Whoever I saw the guy must have been calling 911 about this. To me it looked like someone had nothing better to do that to put that dog on flame. I feel shame. If a dog gets hit by a car, if that is what happened, you don't just put the dog on flame. You call and try to save the dog's life."

"I don't have the words to say how I feel about this because, see the dog was dead already, why did you have to burn it," said Luis Perez, who lives in the area. "Call the animal control and they'll take care of it."

Neighbors like Perez and Richard Miller said they were horrified when they learned what had happened.

"The first thing I thought was like who could do that. Somebody has to be mentally messed up to even like do that," said Miller.

"They set it on fire, that's taking it to the extreme," said neighbor Kiara. "They probably didn't want the dog. They could have just dropped it off to the shelter or something, instead of killing it."

"When I hear stuff like that, I just have questions, like maybe the dog hurt a child or something. You never know what the reason was," added Miller. "Like someone did not have the right mental capacity to deal with the situation in a different way, they just chose to put the dog down."

The incident has attracted the attention of animal rights groups who go to court often in these type of cases.

"I hope there is a long prison sentence for whoever did this," said animal activist Ana Campo. "I have gone to court. I have testified. I have made sure the case was followed from beginning to end and jail time is part of the sentencing."

The county's Animal Services was called in and removed the dog's body. A spokeswoman said the Animal Services Department's anti-cruelty unit had launched an investigation. She could not say what type of dog it was or its age or whether it was a male or female.

A necropsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Miller has lived in the area his entire life. He wants answers.

"If you guys know anything, if you've seen anything, just report it," he said.

Perez, like Miller, wants the person caught who did this.

"I would Ike to see that, for sure," he said. "I would like to see that."

Three Miami-Dade police detectives went door to door in the neighborhood, looking for leads in the case.

They were at the scene for several hours.

Anyone with information that can help should call 311 for Animal Services or Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers for Miami-Dade Police at 305 471-TIPS (8477).

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