INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis man who spent 12 days in jail won’t serve any additional time behind bars after pleading guilty to setting fire to a dog and causing injuries that ultimately claimed the animal’s life.
Dustin Mitchell, 39, reportedly admitted in March 2022 to squirting lighter fluid on his pet pit bull and setting fire to the animal by knocking over a lit grill.
The dog ended up being found trapped inside a vacant building’s bathroom and was suffering from numerous burns.
“The pads on his feet were completely burned off,” said IMPD Lt. William Carter in a previous story. “His face was burned; he had some burns on the left side of the body.”
The dog was taken into custody by Indianapolis Animal Care Services but ended up succumbing to its injuries and dying.
“This dog obviously suffered for a long time after it was burned,” Carter said. “Even the treatment for a burn on an animal is very painful.”
Court records show Mitchell pleaded guilty to one count of torturing or mutilating an animal on Tuesday, a Level 6 felony. The plea was accepted and Marion County Judge Linda Brown sentenced Mitchell to 360 days in county jail.
As part of the plea deal, 336 days of Mitchell’s sentence were suspended. An additional 12 days were given to Mitchell as jail credit. With Mitchell having already served 12 days in jail, the man who pleaded guilty to setting fire to a dog owes no more time behind bars.
In Indiana, a Level 6 felony can carry a sentence of six months to two and a half years but allows for suspension of time.
Mitchell was originally identified as the owner of the burned dog after IMPD posted information about the case on social media, leading to a flood of tips and outrage over the abuse the pit bull suffered.
Court records show Mitchell was also sentenced to nearly one year of probation on Tuesday by Judge Brown for an unrelated OWI charge. His driver’s license was also suspended for 90 days.