BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Adell Zeigler, 19, and Diondre Brown, 17, will face a judge for the second time, Monday. They are accused of intentionally setting a dog on fire two weeks ago. The teens are being charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals.
Authorities said the teens hung the puppy three feet in the air by his collar, drenched him in lighter fluid and set him on fire. The 18-week-old Jack Russell Terrier, whose name is Phoenix, survived the ordeal but is still recovering from severe burns across his body.
As for the suspects, this is not the first time they have been in trouble with the law. Authorities said they admitted to the this crime when they were taken into custody last week.
We spoke with Brown's grandmother, Robin Brown, who said her grandson is innocent.
"My grandson would not harm anybody. My grandson brings stray animals home. There is no way on God's green earth that my grandson had anything with the torture of a dog," Brown said.
Robin Brown also revealed that the two teens are related and claims Brown is emotionally scarred after witnessing his mother and another relative murdered in 2005. On the other hand, Ziegler is currently on probation for an unrelated crime. The two will be in Buffalo City Court at 2 p.m. on the animal abuse charges.
Meanwhile, Phoenix's health is improving after many surgeries but veterinarians said he has a long road to recovery.