A man allegedly killed his eight dogs and then tried to raze his Green Bay, Wisconsin, home on Sunday morning, police said.
Authorities have not identified the 54-year-old man, but officers were en route to his home — a two-story house on a quiet street that had been divided into two apartments — when the man dialed 911 and said he had killed his dogs and set his home ablaze.
When police arrived just before 8 a.m. (9 a.m. ET), according to a release, officers found eight dead dogs and the man's upstairs apartment on fire. The lower unit was vacant. The man — who was injured during the blaze — was transported to a hospital, where he remained Sunday afternoon.
Green Bay police Capt. John Balza told NBC News it was unclear whether the dogs were killed before or during the fire.
The man was being charged with arson and eight counts of mistreating animals, Balza said.
A man who described himself as a relative of the suspect was trying to make sense of the allegations Sunday.
The relative, Dennis Jakubowski, told NBC station WGBA that the man had always loved his dogs, which he described as Rottweilers.
"He would always make sure they were safe," Jakubowski said.
The man's landlord, Green Bay Alderman Guy Zima, told the station that the terms of the man's lease might have been behind the gruesome scene: The home was to be sold next week, and Zima suspected that there may have been a disagreement between the new owner and the tenant over how many dogs he could keep.