This is so, so sad.
A Los Angeles man, identified as Brandon Jerold Smith, has been arrested after allegedly setting his family dog on fire.
According to surveillance footage on August 22, ABC7 revealed the suspect was seen walking a Welsh corgi mix named Hennessy (above) down the street near 88th and San Pedro. He was spotted heading into a park before he disappeared from the camera’s view. When he walked back, the dog was no longer with him and flames erupted in the background.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the dog was hung on a fence and lit on fire during the tragic act of cruelty. A prosecutor told the outlet police believe Brandon used lighter fluid as a “deadly and dangerous weapon.”
Hennessy was taken to a local rescue group called A Purposeful Rescue, but after two days was transported to a local animal hospital where she later died (on August 28) because of her severe injuries, including “organ failure.” Founder of the animal rescue, Hillary Rosen, described the poor pup’s health, telling ABC7:
“She was burnt all over her body. There was swelling all over her body, from her paws, to her ears, her neck, her stomach, her whole back had welts.”
Smith was arrested for one count of felony animal cruelty on Saturday, according to the LAPD. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond. On Wednesday, KTLA5 announced that Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges and is expected back in court on September 22.
His ex-girlfriend, Serena Prentice, has been vocal about this “honestly disgusting” alleged crime, speaking with multiple outlets since the arrest. After sharing a clip of her son playing with the 7-year-old dog (which you can see above, along with the surveillance footage), she told the outlet:
“I was super disgusted in him, angry.”
Sadly, this devastating incident did not fully surprise her. She claimed Brandon had been “setting things on fire” during Instagram live streams throughout August, including “birds.” She also alleged her ex, whom she has a restraining order against, used drugs and has been struggling with his mental health.
In an interview with NBC4, Serena shared:
“Before this even took place, he was threatening me. I was calling the police station several times.”
Her sister, Stephanie Prentice, couldn’t even grasp the “heartbreaking” situation, musing on the beloved dog’s final moments:
“You sit here and take this dog for a walk, and she thinking she’s enjoying a nice walk to the park and you tie her up, and you get her on fire.”
Stephanie also said the shocking footage was “unbelievable to watch.” Serena added, as if speaking to Hennessy’s alleged killer:
“You ended up killing a very innocent dog that truly loved you. I’m super disgusted — and you will live with that.”
Also distraught over this violence, Hillary, whose animal rescue organization has been campaigning for justice online, concluded:
“That’s an individual that I do not want out walking around. Someone who will do that to an animal would probably do that to a person.”
Wow… So, so heartbreaking! We’re going to snuggle our dogs extra close tonight. No innocent creature should ever be subject to this insane and gut-wrenching cruelty. R.I.P., Hennessy.
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