Los Angeles man accused of burning family dog to death

Hennessy, a Welsh corgi mix, tries to recover after being set on fire.
(A Purposeful Rescue)

A Los Angeles man is behind bars after setting his family’s dog on fire and killing the pet, prosecutors said.

Brandon Jerold Smith, 24, was arrested by Los Angeles police on Saturday and is being held on $100,000 bond, jail records show.

Smith faces one count each of cruelty to an animal and arson, according to the L.A. County district attorney’s office.


Authorities allege that on Aug. 22, Smith hung his family’s Welsh corgi mix — named Hennessy — on a fence and lit the dog on fire, prosecutors said.

Investigators also believe he used lighter fluid as a “deadly and dangerous weapon” against the pet, prosecutors said.

Information detailing why Smith sought to harm the dog was not disclosed.

Hillary Rosen, founder of A Purposeful Rescue, said her nonprofit became involved in Hennessy’s case on Aug. 25 after staff reached out from the South L.A. Animal Shelter.

Rosen said her rescue group specializes in helping senior dogs that come into city shelters as well as dogs with medical issues.

Hennessy receives dialysis treatment in an attempt to save her from organ failure.
(A Purposeful Rescue)

After getting her to a veterinarian, blood tests showed the dog was in far worse shape than initially thought, she said. The tests showed Hennessy was going into organ failure due to the extent of her burns.

“She has burns all over her body,” according to an Aug. 26 Facebook post by the rescue group. “Every single part. Inside her mouth, ears, paws, stomach, back, neck, nose. Her bloodwork is concerning (worried about internal organs specifically her kidneys).”

After consulting with a veterinarian, Rosen said her group took Hennessy to ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital in Culver City for dialysis treatment. She made it through one round but died during the second round on Aug. 28.

The Los Angeles Police Department did not return a call seeking comment.