On Sunday, October 11, firefighters responded to a small fire in Walnut Hill Park on Columbus’ east side. When they arrived, they found the fire was a burning plastic dog crate.
After the fire was extinguished, firefighters noticed a small puppy running around the area. They approached the puppy and noticed she had suffered burns to her face and paws and had black melted plastic on her back and top of her head.
Firefighters transported her to Diley Hill Animal Emergency Center for treatment.
On October 14, investigators asked the public for assistance in identifying the dog and owner. The division received many calls with tips and many more from people offering money for the treatment costs and/or reward money for information.
On Thursday, investigators learned who the puppy was last seen in the custody of Ra’shae Syrtaj Jermaine Johnson. Johnson was picked up for questioning and eventually confessed to setting fire to a crate while the dog was locked inside.
Johnson is being charged with “Provisions Concerning Companion Animals,” a 5th degree felony.
The puppy was adopted by an employee of the hospital and is recovering well.