Trooper the pit bull is doing “amazingly well” after surviving an unspeakable act

By Linda Marx
Updated March 29, 2010 06:20 PM

It’s about as cruel as it gets. Last month, a pit bull owner in Philadelphia poured rubbing alcohol on his 5-month-old puppy then set him on fire while his children watched.

The burns covered the pet’s torso, neck and stomach. One ear was nearly burned off and the other disfigured; his eyes were ulcerated.

“The dog, who we renamed Trooper, is doing amazingly well after such an unspeakable act,” Kim Saunders, vice president of shelter outreach at, tells “He made his children hold the dog while he set him ablaze. Fortunately, the man is in jail.”

The 33-year-old Philadelphia man allegedly warned his children if they told anyone about what he did to their dog, he would do the same thing to them. When the kids told this story to a school counselor, the SPCA was called and representatives went to their house. They found a charred rug, bed and dog.

“Animal Alliance took Trooper and put him with a nurse in foster care who has done an incredible job of caring for him,” Saunders tells “Trooper was given topical and pain medication and lots of fluids. We are so happy that he can now see out of both eyes. And he weights 40 pounds.”

The man was arrested and charged with arson, cruelty to animals, endangering the welfare of a child and other counts. Previous charges against him include aggravated assault and firearms counts, according to published reports. He is awaiting trial.

When Saunders heard about this story she offered to foster Trooper, who is now living with her in New Jersey. She says the puppy has a great personality and is friendly to everyone despite what happened to him.

“He loves people and has no emotional scars after that horrible experience,” Saunders says. “He snuggles up to my friends when they come over and just goes to sleep. He is incredibly resilient.”

Trooper was neutered last week, and vets say he has scars on his body, but he is doing fine with no long-term damage.

“We are looking for a loving home for Trooper so he can move on with his life after suffering through such an ugly past,” Saunders tells “But for now, I am so happy to have him with me. He loves toys and we have a great time playing fetch.”

If you are interested in adopting Trooper, visit