A Dale City, Virginia man finds himself in some legal trouble after accidentally setting his house ablaze while trying to cremate his dog. The resulting damage from the initial fire and the water needed to extinguish the flames has left Charles Harris' home temporarily uninhabitable.
When Harris' 11-year-old Rottweiler, Thor, died recently, the man claims he attempted to contact local animal hospitals to ask for help in disposing of the body. While the shelters were willing to assist, Harris was told he would need to bring the body to them.
Unfortunately, Harris claims there were two barriers: His car was not large enough and he claimed that the dog was simply "too big" for him, likely referring to a physical inability to lift and move the deceased animal. At least one neighbor claims he had offered his wagon to assist in moving the body, but the individual says he received no response from Harris (this neighbor also complained about the incident, saying, "I'll just be glad when the dog's gone and the smell's gone. Now I've got death and fire smell in the air."). Insidenova.com reports:
Although Harris did not say which animal hospitals he called, there are pick-up crematory services that animal hospitals can utilize, according to Woodbridge Animal Hospital veterinarian James McDonald...
Larger animals, like a Rottweiler, will cost $388, due to a $129 extra person charge for the animal’s weight, according to Sunset employees.
It is not clear why these services were not utilized. Following his failed attempts at getting the body picked up, last Wednesday around 9 a.m. officials claim that Harris attempted to burn Thor's remains outside of his home. He allegedly piled wood around the dog, then poured gasoline over him. Once he lit the makeshift crematory, flames shot up the back of the house and engulfed the roof. WJLA-TV reports:
A day after the fire, animal control finally came to take the dog away. According to Prince William County fire and rescue Battalion Chief Joe Robertson, the result of the incident was $70,000 in damages. Being that it is against the law to burn without a permit in the county, Harris was given a summons for outside burning; he has a court date scheduled for August 24.
Despite his resulting legal troubles, Harris praised both the fire department and the Red Cross for assisting him in finding temporary housing while his home is repaired.
(h/t Mail Online)