A Baltimore police officer was recognized for saving a burning dog whose plight captured the hearts of animal lovers around the country.
Ofc. Syreeta Teel, 25, was honored at a ceremony at Baltimore City Hall yesterday for her courage and compassion for saving the young female pit bull eleven days ago as onlookers stood by, according to The Baltimore Sun.
"We are incredibly honored by her service, and the city is better for it," said Commission Frederick H. Bealefeld III.
While on patrol, Teel spotted the dog on fire in the middle of the street and threw her sweater on it to put out the flames. She quickly sought help from Baltimore animal control where the dog they named Phoenix was initially treated. Recognizing the severity of the burns (covering 100 percent of her body) would require extensive and costly treatment, Baltimore animal control called Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs.
MLAR transported her to Metropolitan Veterinary Associates in Norristown where the staff fought valiantly to save her. But four days later the dog, who they'd named Mercy, succumbed to kidney failure and was euthanized.
Burns inside her mouth indicated that whoever doused her with gasoline also poured gasoline down her throat. The brutal act of cruelty sparked outrage around the country and the reward swelled to $23,000. Still no witnesses have come forward and no arrests have been made.