A South Carolina man who wrapped electrical tape around a dog’s muzzle to stop her from barking has been sentenced to five years in prison.
Media outlets report William Dodson’s sentence represented the state’s maximum for animal cruelty. However, Dodson’s sentence for mistreating a dog named Caitlyn won’t extend his prison time.The 43-year-old North Charleston man was sentenced a day earlier in federal court to 15 years on a gun charge stemming from a traffic stop months before Caitlyn was found in the spring of 2015. Under a plea agreement, the two sentences will run simultaneously. Some suggest the plea agreement never should have occurred.
However, in court, reports indicate Judge Markley Dennis told Dodson, “I wish I could give you more” (meaning more jail time).
Still, the sentence sends a message that animal cruelty won’t be tolerated, said Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society’s director of anticruelty and outreach.
Dodson, who was free on bail from the traffic stop at the time, had chained Caitlyn outside after wrapping her muzzle nine times. But the then-15-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier mix escaped and was found in critical condition. The tape cut off blood flow to her tongue. Veterinarians at the Animal Society unraveled it after an estimated 36 hours.
“I remember seeing the fear in her eyes,” Roman said. “That was 36 hours of torture.”
After a couple of surgeries, and the trauma, Caitlyn is recovering well, though she did lose part of her tongue and her snout will always be scarred.
Also, note this is another example of cruelty to animals begetting crimes against people.