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A sorry tail of woe: Arsonist framed dog

May 24th, 2002, 10:21 PM
A sorry tail of woe: Arsonist framed dog

LEBANON, Pa. (AP) — A man framed his dog for a house fire so he could collect the insurance and pay off his debts.

Michael Boltz, 37, singed his dog's tail then pushed a candle against a curtain in his home on Feb. 16, according to state police.

He was arrested and charged Wednesday with arson, cruelty to animals and other offences, and released on bail.

Boltz told police he'd fallen asleep with four candles burning in his living room, and was awakened by his dog's barking.

In March, however, Boltz told his former fiancée he burned his dog to make it look like Jake, a 9-year-old Rottweiler-husky mix, had accidentally knocked over a candle and started the blaze, police said.

Boltz's home was scheduled for a sheriff's sale because he'd fallen behind on the mortgage. After the fire, he got almost $145,000 (U.S.) from his insurance company.