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Animal services gives update on dog intentionally set on fire

Dixie GoFundMe.jpg
Posted at 3:31 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 17:35:13-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Dixie, the dog intentionally set on fire and left near a highway in Magna earlier this week, remains in critical condition, officials from Salt Lake County Animal Services said Thursday.

WATCH: Suspect arrested after dog set on fire

The dog is suffering from second- and third-degree burns over most of her body after Monday's incident. Dixie's family says her kidneys are failing and veterinarians are worried about her burns turning into an infection.

"Hoping and praying that she will pull through all this, Dixie will never be the same they said if she does pull through she will likely only be 60-80% of what she use to be, but that is a long shot," said Dixie's owner, Trista Heywood, on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the dog's medical bills.

Michael Busico, 40, was arrested after police say he took Dixie from his ex-girlfriend's home and lit the dog on fire before setting it loose along North Frontage Road near Interstate 80.

“The Animal Control Officers and staff are devastated by what happened to Dixie,” said Callista Pearson of Salt Lake County Animal Services.“No pet should suffer at the hands of a human. Throughout the years, our Animal Control Officers and Clinic Staff, have seen mistreated, and abused animals but this was not only horrific, but it was also an intentional attack against a companion animal.”

Heywood says if Dixie survives, vets believe she will lose both her ears and her eye lids will need reconstructive surgery. The dog may also need a skin graft if the burns on her abdomen do not heal correctly.

The GoFundMe page has already reached half of its $5,000 goal.