BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Animal Control says a nine-year-old neighbor boy is to blame for the dog that was burned in her cage Thursday morning.
Authorities say the 9-year-old set Zoie's kennel on fire, igniting her bed and eventually burning Zoie's paws and belly.
Louisiana law protects that 9-year-old boy and he will not face any criminal charges. The law does not hold any child under the age of 10 responsible for their actions.
"Criminal intent simply is the formation in your mind that what you're about to do is about to cause harm or is about to do an act that causes consequences, and the children do not understand about the consequences, they may understand about the harm, but they don't understand about the consequences," said Sclynski Legier, Public Defender's Office.
Zoie has a long road ahead to recovery. She is now at the LSU Vet School where she will be monitored around the clock.
"She was in a lot of pain," said Dr. Shannon Landry, a veterinarian at Companion Animal Alliance.
Landry said Zoie was brought to the shelter with second-degree burns on her stomach and all of her paw pads burned completely off.
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.
The Director of CAA says that 15 people inquired about adopting Zoie and $645 has been donated to the CAA sick and injured dog fund. That money helps Zoie and other animals.
Officials with CAA say Zoie has a really good spirit. She is still in some pain, but she is medicated. Whoever adopts Zoie, according to CAA officials, will have to hold her like a baby.