JOHNSON COUNTY, IN - Katherine Brotherton, 36, faces two counts of animal abuse after admitting to police she set her two dogs on fire.
"The allegations are these animals were doused with gasoline and then set on fire," said Johnson County prosecutor Brad Cooper. "The abuse of the dogs is extremely disturbing."
Six-month-old pit bull puppy Jake still shakes from the horrible experience and fear he's been through. Jake suffered extensive burns to his paws, back legs, and all over his body. He is under a veterinarian's care and is expected to recover. But looking into his puppy-dog eyes you can see he's still very scared.
"This is the first incident in my five years here that I've seen an animal set on fire," said Michael Delp, director of Johnson County animal control. "There are injuries to skin and to the fur on both dogs from being set on fire," said Delp.
In a police report obtained by FOX59, Katherine Brotherton says she doused her dogs with gasoline in a blue 55-gallon drum and then lit them on fire March 9th. She told police the dogs had been biting her and this was the most humane way she could come up with to kill them.
Jake is in a warm safe kennel inside Johnson County's animal control building with toys in his pen. The director also gave him a doggie bed to make him as comfortable as possible. But he's still shivering with fear.
"It's likely the after effects of being set on fire," said Delp. "We just try not to bother him too much so he can adapt to his surroundings and calm down a little bit."
Brotherton was taken for a psychiatric evaluation but was released back to her home. When officials discovered the dogs were still at the house, animal control officers went back and took them to the shelter.
Boomer the other dog, a five-year-old Australian cattle dog, was found on a chain and post. He is more aggressive than Jake, officers think, because he likely has lived for years chained up. Boomer has minor burn injuries and injuries to his ears. Jake has cuts on his head. Animal control officers think Brotherton also beat Jake.
The dogs aren't up for adoption but may be. Contact the Johnson county animal control office if you'd like to make a donation for the costs of their food and care.
With tougher animal cruelty laws, Brotherton could get up to six years for the two felony counts.
Her father came to the shelter Wednesday to check on the dogs and cried.