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Ontario man charged with burning puppy that later died

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An Ontario man was charged Tuesday in connection with setting fire to a 5-month-old puppy that later died.

Bernardo Vasquez, 21, "willfully, unlawfully and maliciously set fire" to the puppy on April 10 in the 1100 block of East La Deney Court, according to a two-count felony complaint filed in Superior Court in San Bernardino County.

The animal was treated by veterinarians but didn't survive, according to the San Bernardino County district attorney's office.

The office said that Vasquez faces up to three years and eight months in state prison if convicted on both counts, which involve animal cruelty and arson to property.

The dog, believed to be an Australian cattle mixed breed, had third-degree burns over 75% of its body, according to the Inland Valley Humane Society.

"A resident heard an animal crying and then observed that a dog was on fire and running down a wash," the society said in a statement.

 

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robert.lopez@latimes.com

Twitter: @LAJourno

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