Dog tied to tree, burned; man arrested

Published 12:25 am Friday, March 20, 2009

NATCHEZ — When Hattie Smith stepped from the front door of her Chinquapin Drive residence Saturday, she was horrified by what she saw in her own yard.

Smith said her neighbor had allegedly tied his pit bull to a tree in front of her house, doused it with some type of flammable liquid and set it ablaze.

Smith said it was not initially apparent that the burning mass in her yard was an animal.

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“But it was screaming and barking and crying,” she said. “It was terrible.”

The man arrested for the crime is 20-year-old Travis Bradford.

Adams County Investigator Gerald Mooney said Bradford was charged with malicious injury of a dog after he turned himself in Wednesday night.

Bradford is being held without bond in the county jail.

Smith said she was traumatized by the incident.

Smith said Bradford was allegedly standing over the dog as it burned alive when she screamed at him to extinguish the flames.

Bradford then beat out the flames with his sweatshirt, Smith said.

Smith said Bradford offered no explanation for his alleged actions.

“He just looked so full of rage, and he screamed that he didn’t know it was my property,” she said. “He’s very disturbed.”

Vice President of the Natchez-Adams Humane Society Nan Garrison said the animal was taken to a local veterinarian but was so badly burned that it had to be killed.

Garrison said it looked as if whatever flammable liquid was used was applied all over the dog, including in its eyes and mouth.

The torture of animals is not a felony Mississippi and carries up to a six-month jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.