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Dog intentionally set on fire to be put down

Dixie Dog.jpg
Posted at 3:24 PM, Mar 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-08 17:33:15-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A dog that was intentionally set on fire by the owner's ex-boyfriend and left near a Utah highway will be put down due to the severity of her injuries.

Dixie, a red heeler, was found March 1 after being abandoned along North Frontage Road near Interstate 80. Police say Michael Busico took the dog and lit it on fire to get back at the owner with whom he had a previous relationship.

WATCH: Suspect arrested after dog set on fire

After being taken to a Salt Lake City animal hospital, Dixie's condition was listed as critical after suffering second- and third-degree burns over most of her body.

Trista Heywood, Dixie's owner, said last week that the dog's kidneys were failing and veterinarians were worried about the burns turning into an infection.

However, in a Facebook post Monday, Heywood said Dixie would have to be put down.

"This is a very hard thing for me to post and tell everyone but we are going to have to say our goodbyes to our sweet Dixie girl," wrote Heywood.

WATCH: Family shares love of dog burned by ex-boyfriend

Dixie's injuries are so severe, doctors feel that even if she underwent surgery to repair her eyes, ears, and abdomen that the recovery would be too rough. Heywood said Dixie's quality of life would not be good and that she would not be able to do the things a "regular dog is supposed to do."

"Our hearts are so broken and we have no words, this is news that we didn’t want to hear," wrote Heywood. "We are at a loss, we were praying so hard that she would make it out of this because she didn’t deserve any of this to happen to her. She is suffering and we can’t continue to let her suffer... we love you so much Dixie and just know you are always in our hearts."