SACRAMENTO—Sacramento firefighters responded to a fire on Wednesday, January 21, only to find a small dog carrier on fire with a dog inside.
Sacramento Metro Fire spokesperson Michelle Eidam said the crew responded to the fire at Oak Plains Masonic Lodge. Neighbors reported hearing sounds of an animal in distress just before the time of the fire but there were no witnesses or suspects.
The dog was burned alive inside of the crate early Wednesday morning along the 3000 block of Becerra Way. Firefighters were called out to the area around 12:30 a.m., and at first thought it was just a pile of trash in flames. However, the Captain soon realized the remains were that of a small dog inside of a crate.
“It made me ill, and it would anybody to find this,” said Captain Shani Cornell. “And to think that somebody is capable of this is just sickening.”
Neighbors had come out early after hearing a commotion but they were not sure what was making the noise.
“I just heard a dog crying, screaming,” said neighbor Vern Rhoads. “We have a lot of animal fights here at night, so what I thought was somebody’s little [pet] got out and was being attacked by a cat or something. And then about a half hour later I hear the fire department.”
No suspect has been identified. Investigators will be combing the area looking if surveillance cameras caught anything. The location of Becerra is between the Arcade Baptist church and the Del Norte Fitness club. Authorities say the animal was so badly burned they could not identify what kind of dog it was. Arson investigators are asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area to contact them.
Reward money has been coming in from the SPCA, the Humane Society, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, private donors, and the County. They now total $13,000 and could grow. Anyone with information may call 916-859-3775.
Update 2/20/15 – The Sacramento Sheriff’s Department announced that Willie Bee Turner of Oakland was arrested Thursday for the burning of the dog confined to a crate. The 20-year-old is being charged with felony animal cruelty and held on $35,000 bail. The County Animal Control department determined the victim was a under one-year-old mix breed female.