VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Police in Virginia Beach said a dog found dead in a brush fire over the weekend was still alive when someone set it on fire.
Around 1:45 p.m. Friday, VBPD Animal Control officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of Virginia Beach Boulevard to help firefighters with an animal involved in a brush fire. At the scene, they found a dead dog, believed to be a pit bull-type breed.
Supervisor Meghan Conti told 8News sister station WAVY-TV 10 that Animal Control’s investigation revealed one of the worst cases of cruelty they’ve ever seen.
“The front legs and the rear legs were both bound together, and the dog was intentionally set on fire … Through our necropsy and our veterinarian’s report, we’ve identified that the dog was alive when this occurred,” Conti said.
Conti said the dog was an adult female dog, medium-sized and grey and white. It was bound with rope and did not appear to have a collar or other visible markings, she said. The scene where the fire and dog were found is off Virginia Beach Boulevard near Birdneck Road.
Conti said she hoped someone in the heavily-trafficked area noticed something Friday and will call with the lead that will help officers find answers in the case.
“This is a hard case to go through for anybody, it’s even harder for those of us who work these type of cases,” she said. “It’s very, very draining on everybody. So, it really makes you question, what kind of person can do something like this?”
Virginia Beach Fire Department said the fire is suspicious, and investigators will pursue arson charges. Conti said her office would pursue a felony animal cruelty charge, if they locate the suspect.
Anyone with information about the fire or the dog’s possible owner is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.