A teenager accused of dousing a Jack Russell terrier with lighter fluid and setting the puppy on fire pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Erie County Court.
Adell Ziegler, 19, faces a felony animal-cruelty count.
“Our investigation is complete,” prosecutor Kristen A. St. Mary told Erie County Judge Kenneth F. Case.
“The people are ready, and our witnesses are ready,” she said.
Defense attorney E. Earl Key, who is Ziegler’s assigned counsel, met with the judge and prosecutors before the arraignment.
The judge granted Key 45 days to make motions.
Ziegler remains in custody in the Erie County Holding Center on a parole detainer.
Diondre L. Brown, 17, who admitted that he acted as a lookout, pleaded guilty last week to the same charge.
In a telephone interview from the Erie County Holding Center, Brown told The Buffalo News that Ziegler, his uncle, was entirely responsible for taking the puppy into the backyard of a drug house at about 4:45 p.m. Oct. 29 and trying to burn the animal to death.
A veterinarian caring for the dog, which has been named Phoenix, said the dog is doing well, even though he had to have much of both his ears amputated and could lose a leg because of a bone infection.