Trial starts in Baltimore pit bull torching case

Remember Phoenix, the pit bull torched by villains on a street in Baltimore?

After several delays, trial at last has begun for the two teens charged with her 2009 death.

Jury selection started this week in the trial of Travers and Tremayne Johnson — two Baltimore brothers charged with animal cruelty.

Travers Johnson is in custody on unrelated attempted-murder charges, the Baltimore Sun reported.

The brothers are accused of dousing the pit bull with gasoline and setting her on fire. The dog, nicknamed Phoenix by its rescuers, had burns over 95 percent of her body and struggled several days to survive, but had to be euthanized when her organs began to fail.

According to the Sun, attorneys expect the trial to last between two and six days.

The case received national attention and prompted the city of Baltimore bring groups together to study the connection between animal abuse and violence against people. (Where that effort stands today we don't know.)

We do know of the major role a Philadelphia-area rescue and veterinary clinic played in trying to save the young dog after her ordeal. Through the generosity of Main Line Animal Rescue in Chester Springs, Phoenix was treated by some of the top veterinarians in the region. Doctors at Metropolitan Veterinary Associates in Norristown, worked valiantly to try to save her.