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Man charged for allegedly spraying small dog with toxic chemical in Metro East


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    MADISON COUNTY, IL (KMOV) — A Metro East man is accused of spraying a toxic chemical at a small dog leaving the dog fighting for its life while suffering from chemical burns.

The dog was dropped off at the Madison Police Department in critical condition last Thursday. They contacted Pound Pet Inc., an animal rescue group in Granite City. The 10-year-old Maltese mix, named Charlie, was then taken to Veterinary Specialty Services in Manchester, Missouri, where he is in intensive care.

In a Facebook post, Pound Pet Inc. said they received a call from someone reporting lye had been poured on the dog.

“The vet said Charlie took a few steps today but they want to limit that right now. But it’s a very good sign,” Pound Pets said providing an update on his condition. “He’s a survivor. Charlie still has 50/50 chance of survival. Burns are very serious and can lead to other issues.”

Detectives later found a man hiding in a Granite City home and took him into custody. Rodney Johnson, 45, of Granite City, was charged with animal torture and aggravated cruelty to animals.

The Madison County State’s Attorney said Johnson is not Charlie’s owner.

“The images depicting the injuries to Charlie are heartbreaking and truly disturbing to look at. However, we cannot turn our eyes away from the injustices he has suffered,” State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said.

Under Illinois law, if convicted of animal torture, Johnson could face five years in prison.

Johnson’s bail has been set at $40,000.

“[Pound Pets] are taking donations to help for the significant vet bills to save and care for Charlie,” the police department said.

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