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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pit Bull’s Killer Gets Two Years in Prison

April 2003

When a Pittsburgh girl brought a stray pit bull home, the dog fatally attacked the girl’s cat. In response, the girl’s adult brother tethered the dog to a fence, doused her in lighter fluid, and set fire to her paws. He then encouraged a 10-year-old boy to add more fluid in order to consume the animal in flames. The dog fought hard enough to break free of her tether and, according to witnesses, ran into nearby bushes where she was pelted with rocks and bricks. She died from her injuries 12 hours later.

PETA contacted the officials in charge of the case, sent out news releases, and gave several interviews. After a year of persistence, the brother pleaded guilty and the judge–who said she received more than 800 letters from outraged animal lovers–sentenced him to two years in prison.