Preston Gannaway © The Rocky
At Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, Jackie Connors (arms shown) and Beth Heaton monitor Bobo a Yorkshire terrier who was found critically burned by his owner on Sunday, October 19, 2008 in Lakewood, Colo. The owner faces felony charges.
LAKEWOOD — A Yorkshire terrier is recovering from second- and third-degree burns to more than half of its body after a woman allegedly hog-tied the pooch and set it on fire on a kitchen stove Sunday.
Tanya Martin, 38, was arrested without incident and booked into the Jefferson County Jail on suspicion of fourth-degree arson and cruelty to animals, both felonies.
"We do not know what motivated her to commit this horrific crime," said Sheridan Foster, a Lakewood police spokeswoman.
Martin's uncle, Leo Cordova, said his niece suffers from mental illness.
"She loved that animal," he said. "That's her buddy. That's the love of her life."
The terrier, named Bobo, was hog-tied with some type of speaker wire and placed on a phone book that was set ablaze on top of a kitchen stove at the Alpine Mountain Vista Apartments, Foster said.
A neighbor heard the dog yelping about 9 a.m. and called 911. Police rushed to the apartment complex and stopped the fire from spreading, Foster said.
Bobo, who is about 6 years old and weighs 10 to 12 pounds, is expected to survive but faces a long recovery, said Elisa Mazzaferro, director of emergency services at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital, where Bobo is being treated.
The dog was burned from the neck down, primarily on his underside and all four of his feet. The skin on his chin and his tongue were severely burned.
Mazzaferro said she has seen at least four other animal-burn cases during her time at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital.
Three of those cases were malicious, including the one involving a cat named Westy, who was set on fire and thrown from a moving car in Westminster. The case involving Westy led to a new law that stiffens the penalties for animal cruelty, she said.
Mazzaferro said West Metro Fire Rescue called the animal hospital to say it was bringing a dog that had been "maliciously and purposely lit on fire by its owner."
Before Bobo was transported, paramedics resuscitated him, she said.
"He was almost unconscious and barely breathing," she said.
Cindy Matthews, a spokeswoman for West Metro, said pet oxygen masks are carried in all of their trucks.
When Bobo arrived at the animal hospital, he was "very critical" and in a "tremendous amount of pain," Mazzaferro said.
Melted plastic, apparently from the hog-tie, was adhered to one of his legs.
By 11 a.m., Bobo was in an incubator that has tubing with supplemental oxygen. He risks getting carbon monoxide poisoning because of the burns, Mazzaferro said.
He was wrapped in bandages to keep the ointment on and to keep the bedding in the incubator from adhering to his skin. Bobo also has an intravenous catheter in his neck to receive pain control medication, antibiotics and supplemental fluids.
Mazzaferro asked that the public "say prayers" for Bobo and donate money to an animal care society in his name.
"We're going to do our best to make sure that Bobo stays alive," she said. "He's in good hands now."
Police arrest woman who burned dog on stove : News Ticker : The Rocky Mountain News