DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — Central Park in Decatur was lit up blue on Saturday night for Blue the dog.

Blue and his 4 siblings were left outside in below-freezing temperatures at the hands of their owners. For some, remembrance is just one way to spread awareness about animal cruelty.

Beth Wallace, an animal advocate, was heartbroken after hearing Blue’s story. She organized the candlelight vigil that nearly 50 people attended.

“He touched my heart deeply even though I never met him,” Wallace said.

She wants to send a message about animal cruelty.

“I’m hoping it will push some of our local government officials to realize there is a serious problem out here,” Jim Henderson said.

That message is one Deb and Jim Henderson strongly support.

“It’s something we take very seriously and we want to make sure that if you’re even considering getting a dog you’re willing to put in the time,” said Jim, “you’re willing to make that dog feel like he is part of your family.”

Blue was an 11- year-old pitbull. His owners had four other dogs.

The Macon County Sheriff’s Office rescued them after their owners left them in below-freezing temperatures.

“How can people be so cruel, but people are the cruelest thing on the planet,” Deb said.

Deb says they recently rescued a pitbull and were heartbroken to hear someone treated an animal the way Blue was.

“We would never put her outside or make her go through what Blue and his four siblings went through,” Deb said.

Following Blue’s death, his siblings were taken to the shelter. Their owners were both charged with animal cruelty and neglect.