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Phoenix, the burned dog, finds a ‘forever home’

The Jack Russell Terrier puppy found burning on Herman Street last fall will be staying permanently with the veterinary technician who fostered him during his recovery.

The City Animal Shelter and Buffalo Small Animal Hospital announced via Facebook on Tuesday that Phoenix has found a “forever home” with Judi Bunge, who works at the animal hospital, where the dog has been treated since last fall. The message also noted that Phoenix is attached to a best friend, Ruckus, in his new home.

Phoenix, now well on his way to recovery, was spending Tuesday in Albany with his owner and Dr. Josh Brugzul as part of New York’s Animal Advocacy Day. Animal rights representatives from around the state are lobbying for stiffer penalties in animal cruelty cases and more enforcement of current laws.

When he returns home, plans are for Phoenix to become a therapy dog, according to Facebook. The third-degree burns he suffered last Oct. 29 resulted in his losing more than half of each ear and severely damaged his left hind leg, along with burning other patches of skin.

Two Buffalo residents were convicted in the attack, which involved dousing the puppy with lighter fluid and setting him on fire.

Diondre Brown, 18, was sentenced in May to six months in jail and five years’ probation, and he was forbidden from owning or harboring any animals for five years.

Adell Ziegler, 19, is scheduled to be sentenced June 14 after pleading guilty in April to felony aggravated cruelty to animals.