Virginia shelter looking for person who tied dog to pole and set it on fire

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) — A Richmond animal shelter says a dog was intentionally set on fire and is now being treated for burns to over 40 percent of his body.

According to Richmond Animal Care and Control, a male pit bull was tied up in Abner Clay Park off Clay Street on Sunday night, covered with an accelerant and set on fire.

The dog, which has been named Tommie, suffered burns to more than 40 percent of his body.

In a Facebook post, the shelter says witnesses saw a man wearing multiple layers of pants run from the scene.

Firefighters had to extinguish the flames while the dog was still burning.

“They literally opened their bay doors and saw him on fire and ran across the street with their fire extinguishers," said Christie Chipps Peters of RACC.

Tommie is still alive and fighting, but his condition is on a day-by-day basis at Virginia Veterinary Centers. If he lives, the shelter says the recovery will long and expensive, adding up to thousands of dollars. They are asking for the public’s help to cover those costs.

“He doesn’t want to eat because the inside of his mouth is burned so severely," Chipps Peters said.

In her 13 years with Animal Control, she said this incident stands out among the rest.

She added, “This one just sort of takes it to a different level of cruelty. There’s just such an evil component to it that’s so senseless.”

They want to find the person responsible for the heinous crime. If you know anything, you're asked to call Richmond Crime Stoppers at (804) 780-1000.

RACC says not many cases rattle the staff, but Tommie's makes them "want to just sit on the floor and cry."