UPDATE: Man Accused Of Burning Phoenix Has Pleaded Guilty

The man accused of burning Phoenix, a Jack Russell terrier puppy, by dousing him with lighter fluid and setting him on fire last October pleaded guilty to felony aggravated cruelty to animals on Monday.

Last October 19-year-old Adell Ziegler and his 17-year-old nephew Diondre Brown lit the puppy on fire in Buffalo, New York. Neighbors witnessed the crime and came to the rescue of the puppy that was given the name Phoenix.

Phoenix has made a remarkable recovery with the help of animal lovers from all over. He is almost completely recovered from his burns. He had first-, second-, and third-degree burns covering more than half of his body because of the incident.

Ziegler will face a maximum two-year prison sentence and $5,000 fine. His sentencing will occur on June 14th. He may also receive restitution for the care and treatment of Phoenix.  Ziegler’s defense lawyer told his client to expect the maximum sentence. Brown also entered a guilty plea back in December and has yet to be sentenced. He is likely to get less jail time because he has agreed to testify against Ziegler.

The horrible abuse Phoenix endured at the hands of Ziegler and Brown has led to proposed legislation known as “Phoenix’s Law.” Sponsored by Assemblyman Sean Ryan the law would toughen the penalties for those convicted of aggravated animal cruelty. “The defendant, who pleaded guilty to a horrific act of animal cruelty, will only face a maximum of two years in prison and a $5,000 fine,” said Ryan. “If enacted, Phoenix’s Law would double penalties and, in addition, those convicted of aggravated animal cruelty would have to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment at their own expense.”


  1. Anonymous says on  04/30/2013 at 10:14 am

    why don’t we douse both of them with the same lighter fluid they used and set them both on fire as well?

  2. Anonymous says on  04/30/2013 at 10:38 am

    Absolutely sick. Hope they get what they deserve in Prison.

  3. LaDonna says on  04/30/2013 at 12:05 pm

    While I’m extremely happy that this monster received jail time, I think it’s horrible that the maximum a person can serve for something this sick is two years! Really?! That’s the most they can ever get for doing this to an innocent animal. And this jerk will most likely only serve half that! It should be understood that he has to serve the full sentence and nothing less! But like I said, I’m happy he was actually sentenced to jail time. Poor Phoenix has some justice.

  4. Patti says on  04/30/2013 at 12:15 pm

    Happy he confessed. But I would ask him/them what and why did they wnat and do this? What devil entered their thought that would make them think to do this.
    Wouldn’t it be nice to educated these tortures/murders of animals they would become heros caring, loving and protecting these wonderful creatures of all kinds.

  5. Anonymous says on  04/30/2013 at 12:34 pm

    Tie them to a stake and burn them let them suffer the same pain this poor dog suffered!!

  6. Anonymous says on  05/01/2013 at 10:07 am

    Disgusting 2yrs max thats not a punishment too fit the crime, get medieval on these evil thugs if they done that too a person they’d get a big sentence,dogs are human too me.

  7. Furkid Mom says on  05/03/2013 at 7:15 pm

    I can only wish that what goes around comes around very quickly for these two disgusting pieces of filth.

    Heres to a bright future for Phoenix!!! May it only hold love and kindness!

  8. Clear Blue Sea says on  05/04/2013 at 10:42 am

    I hope they get community service and psychotherapy as well as max. jail time.

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