In Charleston, South Carolina, the man who committed one of the most heinous acts of animal cruelty to a puppy dubbed Caitlyn by tightly duct taping her muzzle so she couldn’t bark, eat or drink nearly two years ago, has been sentenced to prison for the next 15 years. William Leonard Dodson, 43, was sentenced in United States District Court on Thursday, however on an unrelated charge.
A press release by United States Attorney Beth Drake stated:
“Evidence presented at the change of plea and sentence hearings established that officers with the North Charleston Police Department initiated a traffic stop on Dodson and Dodson fled on foot. As Dodson ran from law enforcement, he threw a loaded Beretta 9 mm handgun, along with marijuana and cocaine, which law enforcement recovered after Dodson was apprehended. Dodson has multiple prior felony convictions, including four prior conviction for possessing of narcotics with intent to distribute.”
According to the Post and Courier, Dodson’s sentence is the end result stemming from the drugs and gun possession charges. Having a record of multiple past felonies, the 15-year sentence was the mandatory minimum term. His sentence is scheduled to be followed up with two years of probation. The charge carries up to life.
And now as to the animal cruelty charge, the Charleston Animal Society posted on their Facebook page, that a hearing will be held Friday morning in the case of Caitlyn:
“THE Animal Abuse Case Heard ‘Round the World:
~~~Caitlyn finally gets justice!~~~~
Friday, March 24th 10am
Charleston County, SC Courthouse
MEDIA ALERT: Caitlyn Abuser to be Sentenced in Court on Animal Cruelty Charges
William Leonard Dodson Sentencing Scheduled for 10am on March 24th
WHO: William Leonard Dodson, 42, of Quitman Street in North Charleston plead guilty to a felony charge of ill-treatment of an animal last August, for taping the muzzle of the staffie-mix female dog, Caitlyn, in May 2015.
WHAT: His sentencing for the plea will take place Friday, March 24. Dodson faces from 180 days to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000. Dodson also faces charges in unrelated cases involving drugs and weapons.
WHEN: March 23, 2017 at 10AM
WHERE: Charleston County Courthouse, 100 Broad St, Charleston, SC 29401
WHY: Justice for Caitlyn the dog”
The Staffordshire bull terrier’s story went global after she was found with her tongue sticking out and swollen in June 2015. The electrical tape had been wrapped around her snout nine times. During an investigation into Caitlyn’s egregious cruel treatment, a witness told authorities that Dodson had complained the puppy barked too much after purchasing her for $20. When the dog broke free of her chain, she wandered off and was found as a stray. During her rehabilitation, Caitlyn lost part of her tongue and underwent repeated surgeries to enable her to recuperate. The dog has since become the namesake for abused animals through the Charleston Animal Society; her fund pays for veterinary care for dogs involved in cruelty and neglect cases.
Dodson’s faces between 180 days and five years in prison along with a fine of $5,000.
Click here to see Caitlyn’s message from 2015. She has since been adopted and lives with her human family and canine pal Oreo.