SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The dog intentionally set on fire near Magna remains in critical condition at a local veterinary hospital.
The Salt Lake County Animal Services says Dixie is suffering from extensive 2nd and 3rd degree burns to most of her body. Authorities found Dixie two hours after the initial report of the incident came in.
“The Animal Control Officers and staff are devastated by what happened to Dixie,” says Callista Pearson, Salt Lake County Animal Services Communications Manager. “No pet should suffer at the hands of a human. Throughout the years, our Animal Control Officers and Clinic Staff, have seen mistreated and abused animals but this was not only horrific, but it was also an intentional attack against a companion animal.”
On Tuesday, Unified Police confirmed that a suspect, 40-year-old Michael Busico, was booked into the Tooele County Jail on multiple charges, including torture of a companion animal.
Authorities say Dixie was set on fire Monday night after Busico allegedly stole her earlier in the day in retaliation for a failing relationship. Officials shared photos of Dixie’s injuries, which you can view below.
These photos are graphic, viewer discretion is advised.
“The acts of violence committed against Dixie are horrific and should be taken very seriously,” said Liz Sollis, Utah Domestic Violence Coalition spokesperson. “Studies regularly indicate a direct link between animal cruelty and violence against humans. These are acts of power and control. What happened to this dog could and has happened to victims of domestic violence. If anyone is witnessing or experiencing abuse or violence, including abuse or violence of pets, we remind them that victim service providers are here for them 365 days a year.”
Free and confidential help and support for victims and survivors of domestic or intimate partner violence is available, 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465), udvc.org. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, call 911.
Animal Services would like to remind pet owners, that violence against their pets by a loved one is a serious issue and asks that these cases be reported. To report animal abuse or cruelty case call 385-468-7387 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations sent to Animal Services on behalf of Dixie were forwarded to the emergency animal hospital that is caring for her. Monetary donations to the Injured Animal Fund at Salt Lake County Animal Services go directly to help with the costs of caring for homeless injured animals in our shelter.