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Utah man arrested for stealing a dog and setting it on fire

The injured dog is expected to survive the attack.

A Tooele man is in jail after he allegedly stole and set on fire a dog belonging to his ex-girlfriend’s daughter.

On Monday, police were notified that the dog, a Red Tick Heeler, had been stolen. The dog’s owner told police the 40-year-old suspect had been at her house giving the dog treats, which she believed was “highly suspicious” because he “did not normally” do that.

The dog’s owner said that when she left her home, the suspect was still outside with the dog. When she returned, the suspect and the dog — which had been in a fenced yard — were both gone.

Later on Monday, Tooele police received a report that a dog had been set on fire in the area of 9500 W. Frontage Road, just north of Interstate 80. The dog, which had set the nearby vegetation on fire, suffered second-degree burns to her face and other burns to her fur. According to Salt Lake County Animal Services, the dog is expected to survive.

A witness told police a man fitting the suspect’s description, who was driving a truck that matched the suspect’s vehicle, fled the scene before officers arrived. According to a probable cause statement, the suspect and his ex-girlfriend were in a dispute over their failed relationship and $1,200.

Pending formal charges, the suspect was booked into the Tooele County jail for investigation of torture of a companion animal, criminal trespass, theft and arson. He is being held without bail — according to police the suspect “specifically targeted” the dog to “directly intimidate” his ex-girlfriend and her daughter. And, police wrote, the suspect poses “a substantial threat” to the two women.

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