Man, 41, 'who strapped fireworks to Pitbull and lit them on Fourth of July' arrested
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- He is accused of strapping lighting fireworks attached to three-year-old dog's legs and leaving him to die
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- Indy had third-degree burns on chest, paws and legs but has recovered
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By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 01:55 EST, 10 February 2014 | UPDATED: 02:43 EST, 10 February 2014
A 41-year-old man accused of strapping fireworks to a Pitbull and lighting them before leaving the badly-burned canine in an alley to die, has been charged.
Carlos Efrain Duarte was arrested on Thursday and charged with felony animal cruelty over last year's July 4 'prank' which left Pitbull with third-degree burns to his chest, paws and rear legs.
Police said a witness saw Duarte pull the dog out of the bed of a pickup truck and dump him in a Van Nuys, California, alley.
The tragic story made headlines across the country as the Los Angeles Police Department's Animal Cruelty Task Force worked to find the attacker.
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Back in form: Indy the Pitbull has made an incredible recovery since he was brought into Westlake Village Animal Hospital with severe burns across his body
Affectionate: Indy won over the public and his carers with his incredibly loving demeanor, in spite of the trauma he had suffered
But about seven months on, the precious pooch has made an incredible recovery and is in training to become a therapy dog.
According to Patch, a good Samaritan found the injured canine and took him to an animal shelter.
The pup spent four days at the shelter and was then turned over to the New Hope Rescue Team, which named the pooch 'Indy', short for Independence Day.
Indy was later taken to the Westlake Village Animal Hospital, where he has been rehabilitated.
KTLA-TV reported that veterinarians performed numerous surgeries and skin grafts to save Indy's life.
Burned: These are just some of the wounds that Indy suffered. He is seen here just days after he was found in a North Hollywood alley
Everyone who worked with Indy was taken aback by his incredibly sweet demeanor, despite the violence he suffered
Veterinary technician Allison
Polumbus, who worked with Indy during his recovery, choked up as she
told KTLA about his unspeakable injuries.
'It’s really hard to see an animal in this kind of pain,' she said, wiping away tears.
'We saw him without the bandages. It’s horrific, it’s gory, and you can’t even imagine the pain he’s in.'
horrific abuse case, and Indy's remarkably sweet demeanor, made
headlines around America, with more than 1,200 people following his
progress on Facebook page, INDY.
The incredible tale of survival also inspired
talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who helped raise money for his care and
visited him at the animal hospital with her wife, actress Portia de
Indy has now been adopted and is in training to become a therapy dog.
Star power: Indy's story even moved talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, right, who visited him with actress wife Portia de Rossi