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Man, 41, 'who strapped fireworks to Pitbull and lit them on Fourth of July' arrested

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  • Carlos Duarte arrested for animal cruelty on Thursday
  • He is accused of strapping lighting fireworks attached to three-year-old dog's legs and leaving him to die 
  • Witnesses identified Duarte in footage of the dog being dumped from a truck on July 4 last year
  • Indy had third-degree burns on chest, paws and legs but has recovered
  • He has been adopted and is training to be a therapy dog

By Daily Mail Reporter

PUBLISHED: 01:55 EST, 10 February 2014 | UPDATED: 02:43 EST, 10 February 2014

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A 41-year-old man accused of strapping fireworks to a Pitbull and lighting them before leaving the badly-burned canine in an alley to die, has been charged.

Carlos Efrain Duarte was arrested on Thursday and charged with felony animal cruelty over last year's July 4 'prank' which left Pitbull with third-degree burns to his chest, paws and rear legs.

Police said a witness saw Duarte pull the dog out of the bed of a pickup truck and dump him in a Van Nuys, California, alley.

The tragic story made headlines across the country as the Los Angeles Police Department's Animal Cruelty Task Force worked to find the attacker.

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Back in form: Indy the Pitbull has made an incredible recovery since he was brought into Westlake Village Animal Hospital with severe burns  across his body

Back in form: Indy the Pitbull has made an incredible recovery since he was brought into Westlake Village Animal Hospital with severe burns across his body

Affectionate: Indy won over the public and his carers with his incredibly loving demeanor, in spite of the trauma he had suffered

Affectionate: Indy won over the public and his carers with his incredibly loving demeanor, in spite of the trauma he had suffered

But about seven months on, the precious pooch has made an incredible recovery and is in training to become a therapy dog.

According to Patch, a good Samaritan found the injured canine and took him to an animal shelter.

The pup spent four days at the shelter and was then turned over to the New Hope Rescue Team, which named the pooch 'Indy', short for Independence Day.

Indy was later taken to the Westlake Village Animal Hospital, where he has been rehabilitated.

KTLA-TV reported that veterinarians performed numerous surgeries and skin grafts to save Indy's life.

Burned: These are just some of the wounds that Indy suffered. He is seen here just days after he was found in a North Hollywood alley

Burned: These are just some of the wounds that Indy suffered. He is seen here just days after he was found in a North Hollywood alley

Everyone who worked with Indy was taken aback by his incredibly sweet demeanor, despite the violence he suffered

Everyone who worked with Indy was taken aback by his incredibly sweet demeanor, despite the violence he suffered

Veterinary technician Allison Polumbus, who  worked with Indy during his recovery, choked up as she told KTLA about his unspeakable injuries.

'It’s really hard to see an animal in this kind of pain,' she said, wiping away tears.

'We saw him without the bandages. It’s horrific, it’s gory, and you can’t even imagine the pain he’s in.'

The horrific abuse case, and Indy's remarkably sweet demeanor, made headlines around America, with more than 1,200 people following his progress on Facebook page, INDY.

The incredible tale of survival also inspired talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, who helped raise money for his care and visited him at the animal hospital with her wife, actress Portia de Rossi.

Indy has now been adopted and is in training to become a therapy dog.

Star power: Indy's story even moved talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, right, who visited him with actress wife Portia de Rossi

Star power: Indy's story even moved talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, right, who visited him with actress wife Portia de Rossi

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