Local News

Raleigh family adopts burned puppy

Posted December 3, 2010

— A puppy that Fayetteville authorities said was set ablaze during a domestic dispute in July headed to his new home in Raleigh on Friday.

Catherine Woodard, a detective with the Raleigh Police Department, and her daughter, Chelsea, picked up the pit bull puppy, named Red, from the Cumberland County animal shelter and took him back to Raleigh.

Red was 9 weeks old when he suffered burns, singe marks, blisters and gashes along his left hip and leg.

Tony Brian Knolle, 24, was charged with felony animal cruelty in connection with the dog's injuries. Authorities said Knolle set the dog on fire following a dispute with his wife.

After nursing Red back to health, Cumberland County Animal Services was given permission last month to put the dog up for adoption under the condition that he might have to be brought back as evidence in Knolle's case.

"Everybody's going to miss him. We've all kind of shed our tears," animal shelter manager Steve Roland said Friday as he handed Red over to his new owners.

The Woodards were among more than 100 people who entered a lottery to adopt Red.

Raleigh family adopts burned puppy Raleigh family adopts burned puppy

"You're gorgeous," Catherine Woodard said to Red, now 7 months old, upon first meeting her new pet. "He's so cool. He's a little more than I expected in the cool department."

She said she heard about Red's story through television news reports over the summer, and she couldn't pass the chance to adopt him when the shelter held its lottery last week.

"I've always loved dogs. I've always grown up with dogs. I thought it was horrific what happened to him, and my heart just went out," she said.


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  • jkca Dec 3, 2010


  • rescuefan Dec 3, 2010

    "my oldest son would pull his tail and his ears(after they had been cut) and he just laid there and took it. Pitts do get a bad name bc of like most have said...their owners. i baby my dogs like children. Its all in how you raise them. They are wonderful dogs and with mine, both of them, i trust them completely.
    Click to view my profile mbwilliams83"

    I agree that pits are wonderful dogs, but there is absolutely NO reason to cut their ears. All that does is cause them terrible pain. Fighters cut their ears to make less body parts for the dogs that are fighting to grab onto. It's a very cruel practice.

  • quaten Dec 3, 2010

    My dog cried when I read this story aloud. Dogs have a way of sensing emotion.

  • Desiderata Dec 3, 2010

    Agree with jenzinnia, and I will gladly provide the match! No, make it a lighter, less work on our part! Great story ending!

  • carla349 Dec 3, 2010

    Red's going to have an awesome Christmas!

  • BullsEye Dec 3, 2010

    Thank you Catherine! We need more people willing to adopt pets into good homes.

  • hockeygalnc Dec 3, 2010

    Congrats to Red and his new forever family! I hope the other 99 lottery families go to their local shelter and adopt another loving and wonderful puppy/dog/cat/kitten. There are thousands of animals in shelters in NC, and across the country right now waiting for their forever home, before it is too late for them. We have a pretty high kill rate in NC. Spay/neuter your pets, help someone else spay/neuter their pets (I personally pay for, transport, ect people's pets to the vet for surgery!) or adopt a shelter animal!

  • cbarnett Dec 3, 2010

    Kiss him on the nose for me!!

  • maggieknowlya Dec 3, 2010

    I know that must be one happy pup today. Makes me smile to know his sorrow is over. Hope you have the best life a dog ever had little one. After the terror you've lived through you deserve it.:)

  • readme Dec 3, 2010

    Nice to get a bit of good news today. Of course, the same shelter probably put down 10 dogs for every one that was adopted today... but still, I welcome good news.