Arson investigators search for person who set dog on fire

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A dog is in a veterinarian's care after investigators say she was set on fire in her own kennel.

Robert Combs, public information officer for the Baton Rouge Fire Department, said arson investigators were called to the scene on Warfield Avenue, north of Florida Boulevard Thursday morning.

Homeowners told investigators that they found Zoie yelping and trying to avoid flames in her small kennel in the back yard. Combs said it was obvious Zoie's kennel had intentionally been lit on fire.

"The bedding was initially set on fire and it caught the animal but our investigators are still trying to determine the motive behind the ignition of the bedding as well as who may have done it," said Combs.

Many questions remain unanswered, but that doesn't include whether Zoie will survive. She's proving she's up to the fight.

Little Zoie held still Thursday as a worker at Companion Animal Alliance in Baton Rouge tried to comfort her.

"She was in a lot of pain," said Dr. Shannon Landry, a veterinarian at CAA.

Landry said Zoie was brought to the shelter with second-degree burns on her stomach and all of her paw pads burned completely off. But despite her grave condition, Landry said Zoie convinced them she wanted to live.

"It's sort of a 50-50 chance; should we put her down or try to treat her, and with her spirit, and she was so wonderful, we said we couldn't euthanize her. We had to treat her," added Landry.

Combs said investigators questioned homeowners and possible witnesses about the fire and the owner said his family had been caring for the dog since July when it was brought to them as a stray.

According to Landry, Zoie was surrendered to animal control after the owner determined her injuries were too extensive.

"She's got a good shot. It's going to be a long recovery, as we were saying, but I think she has a good chance of having a great life after she heals," Landry explained.

Zoie will undergo three to four weeks of intensive care at the Companion Animal Alliance shelter with daily bandage changes and medication until she is ready for adoption in a few months.

The investigation into the arson continues.

Copyright 2013 WAFB. All rights reserved.