Nearly 20 months after teenage twins in Baltimore were arrested for setting fire to a Pit bull puppy named Phoenix, one of the young men was arrested again on attempted murder charges.
There may finally be justice for Phoenix, the Pit bull puppy who gained national attention when she was doused with gasoline and lit on fire for sport in May 2009.
Police arrested twin brothers Travers and Tremayne Johnson for the horrific crime, but 20 months later neither teen has been brought to trial.
At the time of the cruel act Baltimore police officer Syreeta Teel rushed to the dog’s aid and put the fire out with her sweater.
She said in an interview, “There were people around, but nobody was doing anything, so I got out of the car, took off my sweater and starting hitting her to put the fire out.”
“It was just sad, because I’ve never heard a dog make this sound. This scream that she made, I’ve never heard before.”
The nearly one year-old dog was taken to the Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS) and in spite of her pain she arrived wagging her tail at her caregivers. The rescue workers nicknamed her Phoenix.
The shelter used their emergency funds to send Phoenix to an animal hospital for intensive treatment.
The veterinarians said they had never seen a dog with burns on every part of her body – even the pads of her feet were scorched. They also found puncture wounds that led them to believe she was used in dogfights.
The public fell in love with Phoenix and donations poured in for her care, but one week later the dog lost her battle when a secondary infection caused her kidneys to fail.
Up until last week the Johnson brothers seemed to be living a charmed life. Charges were dropped against them for having a gun and marijuana in their home and their trial for the death of Phoenix is still weeks away.
But on January 9 everything changed when Travers Johnson was arrested for attempted murder, assault and handgun violations. His arraignment is January 27, 2011.
With these charges and an upcoming trial for animal cruelty and mutilation maybe justice will finally be served for Phoenix.
Last month The Animal Legal Defense Fund released their annual report that ranks the strength of animal cruelty laws in each state. Illinois ranked number one for strong laws to protect animals, Maryland (Baltimore) came in at 43. The worst state in the country is Kentucky. Click Here to read the entire story.
Oh Mi Dog