A dog that police think was doused with lighter fluid and set on fire has a 50-50 chance of survival, officials said yesterday.
The mixed breed, about a year old, was found early Sunday morning near Glyndon Elementary School in northwest Baltimore County. He was not wearing a collar or identification.
Chuck Snee, who lives in the 300 block of Town Green Way, said he was watching television when he heard a group of girls screaming that a dog had been set on fire. When he went outside to look, he saw the dog running in circles. Someone had put out the flames.
"He came over and laid at my feet. I could smell the lighter fluid on him," said Snee. "He was drooling badly. I was just trying to get him to calm down."
County police are searching for two men who witnesses said they saw running from the area.
Yesterday, officials of the Maryland Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals provided an update on the dog's condition during a news conference at the Animal Emergency Center in Timonium.
The dog, named K.B. by clinic workers, suffered burns over 50 percent of his body, said Dr. F. Robert Weeren, who volunteered to treat the dog.
"He is going to lose most of his ears," Weeren said. "He is about as badly burned as you can get and still have a chance."
SPCA workers took the dog to the clinic Sunday. Yesterday, K.B. sat in his cage, heavily sedated with painkillers. Bandages were wrapped around most of his back, and a medicated patch covered part of his left rear leg.
Weeren said K.B. will need about six weeks to recover. The dog is taking painkillers every six hours.
If K.B. survives and his owners do not come forward, officials will give the dog to Snee, 42, the father of three children.
SPCA officials have paid the dog's medical expenses and are asking for donations to cover the cost of bandages and medicine.
"I am willing to make a donation for his medical expenses. I don't know if I can pay for the whole thing," Snee said. "There is nothing this dog could have done to justify what he has been through."
Cruelty to animals is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum penalty of $5,000 and three years in prison.
Donations can be mailed to the Maryland SPCA, 3300 Falls Road, Baltimore 21211.