Dog set on fire in northwest Harris County storm drain

July 13, 2013 4:36:51 PM PDT
Authorities are investigating a gruesome case of animal abuse in northwest Harris County. A key piece of evidence might help deputies find the person who dumped a dog and then set the animal on fire.

The dog's burned body was found around 10am Saturday inside a storm drain on Ella Crossing and Burnell Oaks, and the entire crime might have been captured by some surveillance cameras.

Surveillance video captured the horrifying crime.

You can see someone walk out of a car holding a bag. The suspect spends a few minutes with the bag and then drives away as smoke fills the air.

"It only took like four minutes. That's all it took," said Evangelina Cisneros, who lives nearby.

Cisneros' security camera caught the incident on video. She was just across the street, ironically spending time with her dogs, when investigators say a suspect brought a dog stuffed in a bag, put it in the storm sewer and set it on fire.

"It appears the dog was dumped and set on fire," said Investigator Scott Schoonover with the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office. "The suspect somehow pushed the dog or dumped it in the storm sewer, and as he was lighting it on fire, and it was on fire inside the storm sewer."

The dog was already dead when investigators arrived. It was so badly burned that they can't tell if it died before or after it was set on fire.

Felesia Black called 911 when she saw smoke.

"I thought someone just dropped a cigarette down there and started the fire," Black said. "But he said, 'No there's a dog out there.' And I said, 'What? Are you serious?'"

The fire marshal's office says the dog was a medium-sized pit bull. It had veterinary tags on it, so they assume it was a household pet.

While investigators work to identify the dog, they hope the video will lead them to its killer.

The fire marshal's office is investigating this incident along with the SPCA. Anyone with any information is asked to call the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office at 281-537-5900 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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