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Tommie, the dog that was tied to a pole in a Virginia park and intentionally set on fire, has died of his injuries, breaking the hearts of many who followed the dog’s road to recovery this week.
According to the Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC), Tommie, a male brindle pit bull, was tied to a pole Sunday, covered with accelerant and intentionally set on fire. The animal was rushed to Virginia Veterinary Centers suffering from horrific burns, covering nearly his entire body.
Witnesses saw an adult male suspect wearing multiple layers of pants running from the scene.
Over the course of the week, RACC had been documenting its efforts to save the dog on social media, drawing an outpouring of support for the injured animal. On Monday evening, the shelter shared a heartbreaking photo of Tommie covered in a blanket, sleeping on a bed with a stuffed animal and surrounded by medical equipment.
“Tommie says goodnight and thank you to everyone for the love and support today,” the shelter said on social media. “He is stable and comfortable and we are hopeful that continues to be the report we share. Fingers crossed for a peaceful and pain free evening.”
The following morning, RACC said the dog was “doing ok. Just ok.” Sadly, his condition worsened.
“He is stable but new burn wounds have presented and old wounds have worsened and almost his entire body is now effected,” RACC said Wednesday. “His pain is being managed and he’s comfortable but our plans for treatment are changing.”
At this point, the shelter acknowledged “recovery may not be an option but we are exploring every opportunity to find the best solution for our Tommie.”
Meanwhile, authorities with Richmond Fire, Richmond Police and RACC were working feverishly to bring the person responsible for the horrific crime to justice. The shelter said $25,000 is being offered for information leading to suspects in Tommie’s abuse.
On Thursday, RACC shared a somewhat positive update, saying Tommie decided to get up from his bed to take a bit of a walk.
“Tommie just decided he was done laying down. He got up and walked away from his bed,” RACC said. “Fingers crossed for this forward momentum to continue. We are not out the danger zone yet, but for today, we win!”
Sadly, however, Tommie didn’t make it.
“I’m so very sorry to share that Tommie just passed away. He had just finished having his bandages changed and stopped breathing; his body simply gave out,” RACC said early Friday. “Tommie was pain free and surrounded by people that loved him when he passed. Needless to say, we are all devastated and angry and sad and terribly disappointed.”
The shelter thanked everyone involved in trying to save the animal, and thanked those who donated money to help in the process.
“I’m so very sorry that we couldn’t save Tommie but I’m confident that we did everything we possibly could and that he felt true love and compassion for the time that he was in our care,” the shelter said.