US man arrested after setting ex-girlfriend's dog on fire following argument

The seven-month-old Chihuahua mix was treated by vets and is said to be 'in good spirits'

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A jilted ex-boyfriend poured lighter fluid onto his former lover’s dog and set fire to it after an argument, police said.

“She was screaming and hollering,” said Dominque Clark, about her seven-month-old Chihuahua mix, Cocoa. “I have leaves in my backyard and I kind of heard her when she rushed into the leaves trying to put herself out.”

She used some of her clothing to smother the flames after the puppy was scratching and crying at the door of her home in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

After animal control officers took Cocoa to a nearby veterinary clinic she was treated for burns to the body and face.

“She's in good spirits,” vet, Dr Sarah Morgan told the WRAL TV station. “She's already stolen the hearts of everyone here.“

Police arrested 23-year-old James Quick, who they said had once dated Clark and sent her threatening text messages after they split up.

Arrested on outstanding warrants for possession of firearm by a felon and discharging a weapon within city limits, they added charges of animal cruelty and burning of personal property.