On June 10, 2014, hundreds of animal lovers gathered outside the Van Nuys courtroom in California to show their support for Indy, a pit bull discovered with third-degree burns over half his body on Independence weekend 2013. They gathered outside the court house because 41-year-old Carlos Duarte, the man arrested and charged for Indy’s animal abuse, appeared in court for a preliminary hearing. The group not only showed support for Indy, but they demanded justice for the innocent pet.
Thanks to tips and surveillance video, authorities were able to locate the truck Indy was pulled from and abandoned in an alley, after fireworks were strapped to his body causing the extensive burns. Once the truck was found, police arrested Duarte, the truck owner and man on the surveillance tape, and charged him with animal cruelty.
Indy was not present inside the courtroom but he was outside, standing with his followers and friends.
“We’re hoping that [Duarte] does get prison time,” Steve Spiro of the Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (S.T.A.R.T.) told NBC Los Angeles. “Often times there aren’t enough stricter laws for animals and we’re really hoping that the judge sees that this was an innocent victim and punishes him to the full extent of the law.”
Indy supporters hope the attention this case is getting across media channels helps shine a light on the thousands of other animal abuse cases and teaches people that if you abuse an animal, you’re going to jail.
“I really hope that [Duarte] is sorry for what he did and I really hope that he can learn a lesson from this,” said Spiro.
Since the abuse in 2013, Indy has undergone multiple surgeries, has healed and now lives in a loving forever home.