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Burned Arcadia dog Hope healing, helping others

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Hope with her new owner Leigh Sockolosky. Hope with her new owner Leigh Sockolosky.
DESOTO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) - Chained down and set on fire. A young mixed breed dog in DeSoto County hardly had a chance.

On Wednesday, Larry Wallace wanted to talk about the dog that he's charged with severely burning back in March, but the woman who was with him at the courthouse refused to let him.

“Will you go ahead on before I do something to you bad?” the woman told News Channel 8.

8 On Your Side confronted Wallace as he left the courthouse, where inside he learned that his case is continued until August. The delay will give him time to undergo a second mental evaluation to determine whether he's competent enough for trial. The request for a second evaluation came from the State Attorney.

Meanwhile, the dog who is now named Hope, is still recovering from the burns which covered 70 percent of her body.

“We are doing remarkably well. We are doing the healing process, laser therapy,” said Leigh Sockolosky who is Hope’s new owner.

Hope now enjoys the comfort of loving home, a brand new donated chair to sit on while she's at "work" and personalized t-shirts and artwork that are all about her.

There is a lot of good in this story. Because of Hope's near-death experience more than $58,000 was raised from well-wishers around the world who wanted to help pay for Hope's medical treatment. But, the fact is she didn't need that much money. So, other animals in need are now benefiting from the extra money.

One dog was injured in a car accident and needed a wheelchair to get around. But now, she has a second chance at life. “She wasn’t euthanized. Because of Hope,” Sockolosky said.

In addition to dogs, Hope's tragedy is also helping people. It was a child who first spotted Hope on fire back in March and ran for help. Now, Hope visits elementary schools and rescue workers to show children how they can make a difference even at a young age.

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