By Diana Rocco
COATESVILLE, Pa. (CBS) — “I miss him. We all miss him.”
Cora Brown is still in shock. She says her 4-year-old Yorkie-Poo helped her beat breast cancer. He was a beloved member of their family, and now he’s gone.
“He was my constant companion. He was company. He was my baby,” Brown says.
The Yorkie-Poo was found on fire underneath an overpass around 3 a.m. on Saturday morning, just down the street from where he lived in Coatesville. Investigators say the dog was suffocated and burned.
“He’ll always be in my heart. It hurts its like losing a child hurts,” Brown says.
She knew something was very wrong when Woogie didn’t come home Friday night. He had a habit of running away to play with dog friends down the street but was always back for dinner.
EMT Jose Salvatore was coming back from a call when he found the dog on fire and saw two men running from the scene. He says they looked to be in their twenties. The dog had been bound and burned on 90 percent of his body. That’s when Salvatore called for back up.
“No matter how many calls you get, you start to feel anger. That dog didn’t do anything. That’s someone’s pet,” Salvatore says.
“That’s a heartless and cruel act,” Brown agrees.
Woogie’s death has drawn widespread outrage, and the Chester County SPCA is now offering a $3,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
“These people need help, truly need help. We will find them, and we will prosecute them,” says Craig Baxter, an Animal Control officer.