BPD Investigating Puppy Lit on Fire

October 30, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM EDT

By Rachel Elzufon

...
October 30, 2012 Updated Oct 30, 2012 at 6:50 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW) - A puppy, running around caught on fire, was found Monday evening in a Buffalo neighborhood.

Remarkably, that puppy is still alive -- and now police are investigating this case of animal cruelty.

At just 16-weeks old, the little Jack Russel Terrier does not even have a name. However, the images show a heartbreaking life.

Burned from head-to-toe, a neighbor saw him on fire on the 200 block of Herman Street in Buffalo.

Mary Baldwin, he called 9-1-1 at first thought it was a paper on fire -- and then questioned maybe a house. She says "and then I saw the little feet running and I said no that's a dog, that's a dog!"

Baldwin says a man across the street then smoldered the flames.

Police found the little Jack Russel Terrier in a backyard, where neighbors say there's a whole litter of puppies.

The puppy is now recovering at the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital.

Veterinarian Dr. Rebecca Wagner says "We had to treat him with shock, fluids and certain medications to help get his blood pressure up."

The Buffalo Police Department, Buffalo Fire Department and Buffalo Animal Control are investigating.

There is a chance the puppy had been doused in lighter fluid.

Mike DeGeorge, with the City of Buffalo, explains "When the puppy was brought here, there was the smell. Other than that I would just say it remains under investigation."

His fur coat is charred, ears crinkled back and eyes swollen shut. Wagner explains "His eyes are completely swollen today and it's going to be worse in the next five days or so."

The next five to seven days will determine the little puppy's fate.

Veterinarians do not know yet if he will make it -- but they have hope.

"He was completely white and ghostlike when he came here," Wagner says. "Now he's a little more pinkish."

It will be expensive for the Buffalo Animal Shelter to care for the burned puppy. No one knows his name or who he belongs to. He did not have any tags or identification.

If the puppy recovers, the shelter will put him up for adoption.

Several people have reached out to Eyewitness News asking how they can help.

The phone number for the Buffalo Small Animal Hospital is 716-852-1112.

There are no arrests or known suspects in this case. Anyone with information should call or text the Buffalo Police Tipline at 716-851-5694.