Almost 1,000 cases of pet arson are reported every year, according to the National Fire Protection Agency. Two years ago, the American Kennel Club decided to take action against these pyromaniac pets by launching National Pet Fire Safety Day (July 15) to warn unsuspecting owners of the potential danger. Here are the top-5 most notorious pet arsonists and the crimes that made them famous.
Related: Keep Fido from digging up your yard!
5. Lucy the dog denied cake; sets blaze
Just this February, Lucy nearly burned down her owner’s Jacksonville, Okla., house when she tried to eat a cake sitting on the stove. Lucy’s “big paws” turned on the gas burner, setting the kitchen on fire.
4. Pyro cat waits for owner to fall asleep to burn down house
Also in February, a Lake Worth, Fla., family’s pet cat, Stewie, waited until his owners were asleep and then knocked over a candle to start a raging house fire, leaving them homeless.
3. Rat’s flaming leash causes $30,000 in damage
In October 2008, a Florida teen tried to make a leash out of twine for their frisky pet rat, Amelia Earhart. Instead of using scissors to cut the twine, he used a lighter to burn it. A freaked out Amelia took off through the garage trailing the flaming “leash” behind her. The resulting inferno caused nearly $30,000 in damage.
2. Gang of squirrels wanted for arson
In January 2009, a gang of hungry squirrels chewed through electrical cables in the Kent cottage of a former UK attorney general. The munching rodents set off an inferno that blazed through the property for hours.
1. Fish watch as apartment goes up in flames
Last May, comedian Tracy Morgan’s (Saturday Night Live, 30 Rock) apartment caught fire, reportedly caused by a faulty aquarium light. Although the fish aren’t officially to blame for this one, they still watched it happen with cold, emotionless little fish eyes.
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Do you suspect your pet of hidden pyro tendencies?