Two Buffalo teens charged with setting dog on fire

Nov 14, 2012

Two Buffalo teenagers have been arrested and charged with animal cruelty for setting a puppy on fire on the city's East side late last month. 

The puppy, now named Phoenix, continues to recover from severe injuries to 30 percent of his body. 

Wednesday morning, Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda announced the arrests of two male teens: 19-year-old Adell  Zeigler and 17-year-old Diondre Brown, both of Buffalo

17-year-old Diondre Brown and 19-year-old Adell Zeigler arrested
Credit Buffalo Police photos
Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda announces two arrests in puppy burning
Credit WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

"Detectives, working on tips, through the past two weeks put this case together," Derenda said.

Derenda says both made admissions to hanging the dog up three feet in the air, dousing him with lighter fluid, and setting him on fire.  Which teen actually started the fire is unclear.

"It is a very disturbing, despicable act. I can't find words. There's no real understanding why somebody would do this," Derenda said.

At this time, police are not giving a motive.  The teens were arraigned in court this morning on felony aggravated cruelty to animals.  Both have criminal records. 

The Jack Russell Terrier survived his first surgery, but will face several more skin graftings and efforts continue to try to save his left leg.  He's recovering at the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital on South Elmwood Avenue.  

Police have identified the dog's owner, but would not offer further information.