Local News

Raleigh family adopts burned puppy

Posted December 3, 2010 12:49 p.m. EST
Updated December 3, 2010 6:19 p.m. EST

— 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.

"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.