Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The case of a man burning a puppy on fire has gotten a lot of attention and has refueled an animal advocate’s calls for tougher penalties for cruelty cases.

In the state of South Carolina, a felony ill-treatment of animals charge could get you up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Advocates say that's just not enough for some cases.

“No animal should go through what this little puppy went through Saturday night and it is very very scary to me to think that a 21-year-old man could do such to an animal,” CEO of animal rescue organization Pawmetto Lifeline Denise Wilkinson explained. “I hope and pray that they hold him accountable.”

Wilkinson says she's appalled by the burning of a puppy over the weekend but unfortunately has to deal with seeing animal abuse on a daily basis.

“We all need to step forward and say no more. We're not going to allow our children or our companion pets to be treated like this,” the animal advocate explained.

Pawmetto Lifeline gets animals that have been starved, beaten, neglected and some who have been involved with dog-fighting.

Wilkinson says people have to speak up about what's going on and also call on politicians to toughen laws.

“You've got to have the courage sometimes to stand up and do what's right,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson is also a part of the South Carolina Animal Legislative Committee. She says they are always working to get tougher laws for animal cruelty.

For more information on Pawmetto Lifeline, please visit:

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