Abused dog's condition on the upswing

Police say man doused dog in gas, set on fire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Jack Russell Terrier mix -- victim of an unspeakable act of cruelty, fortunately is on the mend.

The male dog is named Zero, and he's about one and a half years old. Police say on Sunday, Devron Quarterman, 21, doused Zero with gasoline and lit the dog on fire.

Veterinarians say it's going to take a lot more to get the message across that abusing animals has to stop.

"I think its absolutely horrendous -- unexplainable how somebody could light an animal on fire," said Dr. Jennifer Ferrin with Miramar Animal Hospital.

A fast response by Zero's owner probably kept his injuries from being as bad as they were.

Officers quickly arrested him. They say they found a gas can in the yard, and a lighter in Quarterman's pocket.

Quarterman has been charged with a third degree felony.

Dr. Greg Stacy says the more serious felony charge is an improvement over what it was just a few years ago.

"A lot of times these sorts of things would only incur a misdemeanor charge but certainly a felony charge will carry more weight," said Stacy. "I think it's more of a call to everybody how seriously we take animal abuse and animal neglect."

Stacy said the problem of abuse may be more serious than most people think.

"Again, a lot of this stems from some people just never being properly educated on how to take care of animals, that animals really are no different than we are, as far as emotions that they have, pain that they feel, certainly, so again I think that's something everybody needs to look at," said Stacy.

A follow up visit for Zero is scheduled for Friday.