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Man linked to setting dog on fire arrested

MONTGOMERY (AP) — A 20-year-old Montgomery man accused of torturing his mother’s pit bull when she wouldn’t let him use the car has been arrested in Tuscaloosa, authorities said Tuesday.

Montgomery County Sheriff D.T. Marshall said Juan Daniels was being brought back to Montgomery to face felony animal cruelty charges.

Daniels is accused of tying the dog to a post, beating it with a shovel, soaking it with lighter fluid and setting it afire on Sept. 7 after being denied use of the car. The dog, burned over 60 percent of its body, survived and drew widespread concern and help with vet bills after photos of it were posted on the Internet.

U.S. marshals who made the arrest had no immediate word Tuesday on whether Daniels had an attorney.

Workers at the Montgomery Humane Society shelter nicknamed the dog “Louis Vuitton” in recognition of a Mobile dog nicknamed “Gucci” after it survived being set afire in 1994. The Mobile case led to passage of Alabama’s “Gucci Law,” which made it a felony to torture a dog or cat.

Daniels had been sought since an arrest warrant was issued and the case received widespread notice in news reports last week.

Steven Tears, director of the Montgomery Humane Society, said calls had come in from South America amid outrage on the torturing of the 2-year-old dog. At one point he said the shelter was receiving more than 50 calls a day about the dog and people were stopping by to make donations to help pay for extensive vet care.

Humane Society workers said Louis Vitton appears in good spirits despite pain and wags his tail for visitors.

Police said the animal cruelty charge carries a sentence of one to 10 years in prison if convicted.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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