Puppies nearly burned alive in arson plot

By James Quiggle
December 23, 2015

A pet shop owner left her prized puppies to die in an arson fire to bilk her insurer for a bailout from debt.

Gloria Lee owned the Prince and Princess Pet Boutique in Las Vegas. She and her husband suffered serious financial problems and had gone bankrupt.

Lee decided to burn down her pet shop. The insurance money would provide a handy bailout.

But she bungled the plot from the start. Incredibly, Lee’s own store security cameras captured her every move while she and her boyfriend set the fire. And her sprinkler system snuffed the flames.

Lee and Kirk Bills — with whom she was having an affair — snuck into the store one night. Her snooping security cameras captured this sequence:

Lee opens a back door shortly before 1 a.m. The dreadlocked Bills enters the pet store with two red gasoline cans and a metal container with fire accelerant in the pocket of his hoodie. He sprays the accelerant around the store — and onto the locked puppy cages.

Pooches cowered in cages

Cringing in their cages as the gas fumes built up are 27 frightened pooches — Yorkshire Terriers, Malteses, Chihuahuas, Pugs, an English Bulldog, Beagle, Dachshund, miniature Poodle and a Miniature Schnauzer.

Bills rolls up a newspaper and lights it. He then touches the flame to the liquid he poured earlier. He also sets fire to a stack of newspapers by the door as he leaves.

All the while, Lee also collects files from the office area and places the gas cans in a white trash bag.

Sprinklers doused most of the flames, saving the pups from a horrifying death. Lee received eight years in state prison

The case drew national attention. Outraged animal-rights activists picketed the courthouse during the trial. Thousands of people called a county hotline, seeking to adopt the the pups. The Animal Foundation adopted out the young dogs by selling $250 raffle tickets.

Officials also are pushing for a statewide animal cruelty task force and hotline. Animal-rights activist Gina Greisen warned: “When you try to burn 27 dogs alive ... we want to see the maximum.”

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