Soledad man pleads no contest to burning dog alive

A Soledad man has pleaded no contest to three felony charges related to burning a dog alive, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo announced Friday.

Devonte Sirwet, 22, pleaded no contest to first-degree residential burglary, arson and felony animal abuse, prosecutors said.

In December 2017, Sirwet was kicked out of his mother's home because of substance abuse and anger issues, and on March 27, he returned to the home, snuck inside and took Kato, the family dog, prosecutors said.

A short time later, a witness heard what he described as a terrible screaming sound and saw Sirwet pour two bottles of lighter fluid on Kato and set him on fire.

Sirwet then fled in a vehicle, leaving the dog to burn alive. Officers with the Soledad Police Department arrived and found Kato alive but suffering from severe burns over 90 percent of his body.

Kato was taken to a veterinarian and was euthanized to end his suffering.

Sirwet is expected to receive six years and eight months in prison when he is sentenced on Oct. 18.