Case Snapshot
Case ID: 17836
Classification: Neglect / Abandonment
Animal: dog (non pit-bull)
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Thursday, Apr 28, 2011

County: Jackson

Disposition: Convicted
Case Images: 2 files available

Defendant/Suspect: Maria Alarcon-Suarez

Case Updates: 2 update(s) available

A Kansas City woman was arrested after police say she failed to seek immediate medical help for a burned dog.

Just before 10 p.m. Thursday, 43-year-old Maria Alarcon-Suarez told police she heard her family dog, a black Lab now named Phoenix, barking loudly in the back yard of the family's home in the 3800 block of E. 59th Terrace.

Suarez told police the dog was almost fully engulfed in flames and rolling around on the ground. Phoenix was able to put out the flames himself, police said, but suffered third-degree burns to more than 40 percent of his body.

Animal control officers claim that despite the dogs' serious injuries, Suarez didn't get Phoenix help until late the next afternoon, at which point officers said she claimed the dog was a stray she found on her fire on her front porch.

Maria Alarcon was charged with abuse or neglect of an animal because she failed to get care for the dog in a timely manner.

A neighbor said that he saw two teenagers running away from Alarcon's home on Thurdsay, and they also saw the dog on fire.

Alarcon took Phoenix to Halfway Home Pet Adoption in Kansas City on Friday.

Police said Alarcon told them that she found the dog after he was burned and she was just trying to get care for him. At first Alarcon claimed that she didn't own the dog, but later confessed that she did own it.

"I don't' have a job that's why I don't take my dog to the doctor," said Alarcon.

Alarcon believed the surgery would be free if she said Phoenix was a stray. She said Phoenix is like a family member to her.

Local animal rights groups can't believe a puppy could be burned like this.

"It's hard for me to to understand how something like this happens and what those animal that were abused or neglected could have possibly done to deserve or have something like this happen to them," said Love 4 Paws President Stephanie Henshaw.

Vets say 6-month-old Phoenix is in a lot of pain. He will need skin graphs and he could lose his ears. It's still unclear how or why Phoenix was set on fire. Phoenix sufferd third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body.

Alarcon posted a $500 bond last night. A fund has been setup for Phoenix.

Kansas City's Animal Control Division is investigating the incident, and anyone with information is urged to call (816) 513-1313.

To help out Phoenix, visit love4pawskc.com .


Case Updates

A dog owner whose family pet was set on fire faced a judge Tuesday.

Back in April, Phoenix was set on fire in the 3800 block of East 59th Terrace.

Phoenix suffered third-degree burns on 40 percent of his body.

The dog's owner, Maria Alarcon, was arrested and received several citations.

Alarcon faced a judge Tuesday and was found guilty on two counts of not registering an animal, one count of falsifying information and one count failure to get the dog medical attention.

Alarcon said her 14-year-old daughter purposely lit Phoenix on fire.

In May, Jackson County juvenile authorities charged Alarcon's 14-year-old daughter with animal cruelty for allegedly setting Phoenix on fire.

Animal control officers said that despite the dog's serious injuries, Alarcon didn't get Phoenix help until late the next afternoon. At which point, officers said she claimed the dog was a stray, and she found on fire on her front porch.

Alarcon faces fines and probation and will not be allowed to own any animals.

Phoenix survived and is recovering at Love for Paws.
Source: kctv5.com - Sep 7, 2011
Update posted on Sep 11, 2011 - 11:57PM 
Jackson County juvenile authorities have charged a 14-year-old girl with animal cruelty for allegedly setting her family's dog on fire on April 28, causing severe injuries to the Labrador.

She allegedly hit the 6-month-old puppy with a shovel and poured gasoline on the dog. She then allegedly lit a piece of paper and dropped it on the drenched dog, police said.

The teen's mother heard barking in her back yard in the 3800 block of East 59th Terrace and saw the dog engulfed in flames, according to police reports. The dog rolled on the ground and extinguished the flames.

The mother told police she initially tried to treat the dog's wounds herself. The next day, she took the dog to a shelter and said it was a stray that she found on fire on her front porch, police reports said. Police later cited her with animal neglect for delaying medical treatment for the dog, which animal rescue workers renamed Phoenix.

Phoenix lost both his ears due to the severe burns, but is recovering well, according to the rescue workers.

Kansas City property crimes detectives canvassed the neighborhood and found witnesses who saw the girl hit and set the dog on fire. Investigators said the girl wasn't mad at the dog, but rather acted out because she was "really depressed." Police asked the girl to surrender at the juvenile jail about two weeks ago, and she did.
Source: kansascity.com - Jun 9, 2011
Update posted on Jun 9, 2011 - 12:53PM 

References

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