Abuser of Caitlyn the dog sentenced to 15 years in federal prison

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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.

 

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127 replies
    • Julie Newsome says:

      Yes but the 15 years is for drugs etc not animal abuse .not really making an impact .is it .he could get 9 months or five years added .reminds me of Michael Vick who got prison for money laundering nothing to do with all the dogs he killed by fighting them

      Reply
      • L. Kinney says:

        Tee – where did you read that? The article I saw said : The 15 years were for other crimes. The judge then gave him 5 years for the animal abuse but it is to be served CONCURRENTLY WITH THE 15 YEARS so basically, he got NOTHING for the animal abuse. People should write and let the judge know how they feel about this injustice for Caitlyn!

    • Angie Krusto says:

      Well said L. Kinney!!!
      Now, to the Judge who is going to hand down this bums sentence… Give this P.O.Scum the highest sentence you can give and make him as an example to others like minded. We need to make a very loud statement against all animal abuse/cruelty forever more. Sincerely A.M.Krusto

      Reply
      • L. Kinney says:

        I wish he had but he copped out as usual. He gave him 15 years for his other crimes then 5 years for the animal abuse, which is to be served consecutively with the 15 yr. sentence. So basically he got nothing for what he did to Caitlyn! And this is justice? I think not!

      • Karla Brown says:

        to L Kinney…Consecutively,
        means one immediately after the other with no break in-between..so he is getting 20 years…

      • linda says:

        Karla actually Pet Rescue has an update on another post. He was given 5 years for animal abuse concurrently with his fifteen years of drug related charges. He’ll spend 15 years in prison not 20.

  1. Red says:

    FINALLY A JUDGE AND COURT THAT GAVE A TRUELY FANTASTIC SENTENCE to a monster animal abuser. I hope this creep never makes it out of prison…ends up spending the rest of his days there. Ms. Caitlyn…. you survived this monster and are in a loving home now!

    Reply
      • Jenna says:

        Our justice system is failing us. This should have been taken care of. Let someone hurt my animals. I won’t wait for a court date to make that sorry fuck pay. Apparently animal abuse is deemed ok in our nation.

    • L. Kinney says:

      Red, he hasn’t even been given any sentence for the animal abuse yet. The 15 years was for his other criminal acts. Let’s pray the Judge does give him the punishment that fits the abuse of this poor animal. The 180 days mentioned doesn’t seem to be any where near enough time so if he CAN give more time, I hope he does. As for the $5,000 fine he could get, I’d slap him with that too but he looks like he’s never seen that amount of money in his life, so who knows if it would ever get paid. He needs to be made an example so people can see animal abuse will no longer be allowed or overlooked but rather anyone who does abuse will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Until this is done on a regular basis, it will not be taken seriously by those who do it over and over.

      Reply
  2. resqdogz says:

    Of COURSE he’d receive appropriate punishment for those other offenses!

    WE MUST DEMAND THE FULLEST EXTENT OF ALLOWABLE PUNISHMENT UNDER THE LAW, FOR THESE FAR GREATER CRIMES OF COMPANION ANIMAL ABUSE!

    Reply
    • Helen Jordan says:

      His sentencing has NOTHING to do with animal abuse…it’s on a drugs & weapons charge. As usual in our society, animal’s rights don’t seem to matter much to our law makers & judges. But I agree whole heartedly we need stiffer laws & maximum sentencing for animal abusers. ALL of God’s creatures need to be protected from abuse & neglect.

      Reply
  3. susispot says:

    If they don’t give him any added time for the animal cruelty charges I’m going to croak! It tells the abusers, “go ahead, it’s just a dog”.

    Reply
  4. Merri Cassel says:

    This is good news that he is going away and I hope his cell mates are true animal lovers but there better be more time added, a lot of time, for what he did to Caitlyn !!!

    Reply
  5. Marsha says:

    Thank you to the judge and the court…..I hope this P.O.S. is tortured and ultimately dies in jail,the ugly fckr!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  6. Patricia Green says:

    That is not enough!!!! Why not $50,000 and 20 years these laws sucks for animals and POS just keep right on doing the shit … it’s a slap on the wrist.!!!

    Reply
  7. laker says:

    Reading is fundamental. He received the mandatory MINIMUM term for the crimes he committed. He hasn’t been sentenced for animal cruelty yet.

    Reply
    • Stan says:

      Glad to see it…I was scolling comments thinking surely someone read it…lol…he got off as “easy” as the law would allow…..smh

      Reply
  8. Kathleen Drude says:

    Finally after all this time justice! It’s been a long time coming! I would love to wrap this assholes face with duct tape and see how he reacts to it! This poor dog went thru hell because of this thing, at least now she is happy, loved and a part of a family that cherishes her! Good for you Caitlyn!

    Reply
    • Nancy says:

      When wrapping his face make sure to include his nose and mouth so the bitch can’t breathe…he’s a low life…weather he’s doing fifteen years for dog cruelty or not, I’m happy he’s going to be spending all that time there he’s just a total fuck up.

      Reply
  9. Sara-Patricia Mason says:

    Thank God Caitlyn now has a loving home. I hope she will forever forget the cruelty this man inflicted. And may he remember, throughout all eternity, the suffering he caused an innocent, helpless animal. I cannot understand the mindset that could do this. I believe satan is alive and well on planet earth.

    Reply
  10. debbie says:

    When he is in prison they should tape his mouth shut so he can’t talk or eat or drink just like he did to this poor dog. I don’t understand why people get animals and than mistreat them like this instead of just finding him a new home…An angel was watching over this pup when he was able to break free with his chain…thank god for that..he probably would of died if he didn’t. I don’t know what it is with the Carolina’s esp with the abuse that goes on and is allowed by authorities…I know Ashe County is horrible when it comes to helping abused animals..they just turn the cheek and collect their paycheck at the end of the week.

    Reply
  11. Jennifer Simpson says:

    I only hope the other prisoners see what he did to her!!! and maybe wrap something of his in duct tape~~~

    Reply
  12. Frank Ross says:

    Now lets see this UGLY MONSTER get his, lets hope his mouth is taped up and his hands tied, then have BUBBA, SONNY, and LOUIE get him in a back room of the prison and have their way with him.
    I really do hope they slowly, painfully kill the (b) astard!

    Reply
  13. Nancy says:

    The 15 years was for a whole different offense. His sentencing for animal abuse is tomorrow March 24th. The maximum he can serve for that is five years. Let’s hope that he is given those 5 yrs. plus the 15 yrs. and that there is no chance he will get out early for so called good behavior. We need harsher penalties for animal abusers. 5 yrs. is not enough since many serial killers start with animsl abuse.

    Reply
  14. Sandy says:

    Justice prevailed! HALLELUJAH! I hate to know all the abuse this sweet girl endured, but now she has a good life and I thank God for that.

    Reply
  15. melanie johnson says:

    He needs to be punished for what he did to the dog. The jail time for the drugs and gun has nothing to do with animal abuse. That should be made clear in the post.

    Reply
    • L. Kinney says:

      You are completely right Melanie J. The title at the top (white on tourq. on my computer) is completely WRONG! 1) The 15 years was for other crimes. Nothing to do with Caitlyn. 2) The animal abuse charge was handed out on the 25th. and he was given 5 years to be served concurrently i.e. same time as the 15 years he got for the other crimes. So basically, he got nothing for the animal abuse! 3) Therefore, the title in the white and blue banner is TOTALLY wrong or perhaps written that way to bait people into thinking he got 15 years for the dog abuse without actually saying that until the person reads the article. This is done all the time. Kind of like a FAKE NEWS title!
      The title could have been written more clearly, something like…..

      Abuser of Caitlyn the dog will be sentenced on the 25th for animal abuse. Meanwhile he has received 15 years in Federal Prison for drug and gun possession charges

      Attn: Karla Brown – yes, I did use the wrong word (Consecutively) when I wrote the comment you are referring to. I’m pretty sure I used the correct word (“concurrently”) every where else though. I do know the difference.

      Reply
  16. Peter C McNaughton says:

    THe crime committed against that dog is absolutely absurd. The penalty should be the max allowed. Who is arguing for his girl?? Let’s see what the judge does, them post his name all over CHarleston if he goes light on this crime. Premeditation, and only saved byu esscaping… that is enough for the maz. Period

    Reply
  17. Renee Kennedy says:

    If this wicked, cold hearted, no souled, monster of a human can do this to an animal…I believe I know
    what he is capable of doing to another human. Only 15 years( the mandatory MINIMUM!!!! What the hell…MINIMUM????? For a multiple felon?????
    Tomorrow he could receive a possible additional 180 days-possibly 5 years…IT IS NOT ENOUGH for what he did to this beautiful creature, much less the threat he poses to society in general….I can only think that some higher form of life that he will encounter in prison will make this monster’s life not worth living…SHAMEFUL!
    This monster could have gotten life and I would like to know why he did not!

    Reply
  18. Tamaras Abrams says:

    We need to be this harsh in every case. Animal abusers are sadists. Sadists do not belong in our society.

    Reply
  19. Clint Mccary says:

    They need to wrap his mouth, face, and jaws about 20 times with duct tape then stick a red hot poker up his ass and see if they can hear him scream, the sorry SOB!!!!!

    Reply
  20. Melissa Smith says:

    I’m glad he’s been sentenced, but he doesn’t get his sentence for the dog abuse until tomorrow. I doubt all in all that he’ll serve any jail time for either charge, sadly.

    Reply
  21. L. Kinney says:

    Please Judge, give this animal abuser all the time in jail/prison you possibly can along with the full fine. Until animal abuse is prosecuted to the full extent of the law, the majority of abusers will ignore it and feel since they’ve got away with it for years, nobody really cares and making these laws is just to pacify animal lovers. They need to be taught times have changed! Thank you.

    Reply
  22. Sue says:

    Thank you, laker. Also, very few people are aware that Michael Vick also did NOT serve any time for cruelty to animals, after his dog fighting ring was raided, and it was discovered that he also tortured dogs to death for losing fights, or refusing to fight. He was convicted and sentenced to prison for betting across state lines.

    Reply
  23. Nancy Raymond says:

    Personally, if I had my way William Dodson would be first in line for a date with the wood chipper. I hope that he gets shanked in prison – he does not deserve to breathe. Caitlyn is now in a lowing home which she so well deserves.

    Reply
  24. M. F. Vetalice says:

    This creep should be exterminated!! Any sentence he may get is not enough for what he did to this helpless innocent creature of God, whom I am sure has a special place for.

    Reply
    • L. Kinney says:

      Basically he didn’t get any time for the animal abuse. Read the article. The 15 years were for other crimes. The judge then gave him 5 years for the animal abuse but it is to be served CONCURRENTLY WITH THE 15 YEARS so basically, he got NOTHING for the animal abuse. People should write and let the judge know how they feel about this injustice for Caitlyn!

      Reply
  25. Mary Davis says:

    Glad to hear that sentencing was served. Unfortunately i strongly disagree with adopting any animal for free. Free has no value. Shelters are typically non-profits but they are still business. Why give an animal away for free, when costs were involved to vet the animal. It is no better than Craigs List. I live in the south and we have an epidemic of animals that are free and end up being sold at flea markets , sold to Grade B Medical Research and of course used for dog fighting training. Please encourage the Charleston Shelter to stop adopting animals for free.

    Reply
  26. Charese M Herrington says:

    What a great Mascot, Caitlin makes!
    Unfortunately, Animals need vigilance and protection from the evil that lurks out there!🐩🐄🐂🐐🐀🦃🐫🐖🐓

    Reply
    • L. Kinney says:

      Betty Betty – The 15 years was for his other crimes and had nothing to do with the animal abuse. He got 5 years for that but it is to be served CONCURRENTLY with the 15 yr. time! So basically he got nothing for the animal abuse. NO JUSTICE for Caitlyn!

      Reply
  27. Theresa Babbitt says:

    I could not look at that pic of her with the tape. horrible. i don’t care what charges put him in jail, i am just glad he is there. that was inhumane, heartless and mean. that poor baby. it says she has since been adopted. i wish we could see pics of her now, happy with her family. and God bless them all

    Reply
  28. Virginia Piechocniski says:

    This morning, he received 5 years for the animal cruelty, which will run concurrently with the 15 year sentence. Your headline is very misleading, as it makes it sound like he got the 15 years for the treatment of Caitlyn. I easily found the info on Google, why couldn’t you?

    Reply
    • L. Kinney says:

      Att: People who think this guy got 15 years for his abuse to Caitlyn – the judge gave him basically NOTHING! Read on.
      I cannot understand why people make comments before reading the article thoroughly. I see you did Virginia and THANK YOU! However, I am really pissed he got the 5 years which will run concurrently with the 15 years he got for his other crimes. This means to me he basically GOT NOTHING for the animal abuse. I so worried this might happen. Thanks a lot Judge – for nothing. This was a BIG chance to make this low life a sample of what WILL happen to abusers if they continue to hurt animals – but you let it slip away and gave him nothing so basically this IS what will happen. It’s decisions such as this that make the abusers laugh and know that they can most likely get away with murder when it’s “only a dog” or “only a cat” or “only a horse”. And now we also know that you are “only a judge” when you could have been a GREAT judge if you’d only tacked that 5 years on the end of the 15 years. But you failed that poor dog again and proved nothing to the rest of us except you felt sorry for this thug because he was seeing how bad his past actions were. You are a disappointment. Read the article completely so you know the whole story.

      http://www.postandcourier.com/news/north-charleston-man-sentenced-to-five-years-for-taping-dog/article_d85df340-1088-11e7-8cdd-e7a3da970384.html

      Reply
  29. kathy says:

    I just read another article, it’s 5 years in prison with 10 years probation. I wish these sites would get their story straight. However, I’m glad he received the max.

    Reply
  30. Rick James says:

    He only got done for drug offences i guess before he finishes his 15 years he will also get charged for animal cruelty here in the UK its a fine pending how serious and a ban from owning animals for life

    Reply
  31. Helene Ramos says:

    Clearly no one is actually reading the article. The 15 years has NOTHING to do with the animal abuse. Yes he faces 180 days to 5 years but they will probably run in concurrently with his already 15 year sentence for drugs. Won;’t even phase him.

    Reply
  32. Cari Daughetty says:

    There is some justice in this country. EVERY case of animal abuse should be treated as a felony. Anyone that injures an animal is LOSTAND I don’t know if there is chance of rehabilitation.

    Reply
  33. Leah Mckenzie says:

    What goes around comes around. We would have wanted those 15 years for what he did to Caitlyn but we will just have to be satisfied with those other charges.
    I am so happy for her and her new family.
    I just wish we could do harm to abusers like taping his mouth and tongue for example. Our laws for animals should be more strict. Too many judges let off these people in court. I have seen this first hand. The judges reduce sentences and fines to almost nothing or anything at all.

    Reply
  34. Craig A Ruppenthal says:

    I hope they give a roll of tape to the biggest meanest inmate and they do the same to this shit bags privates.

    Reply
  35. Judy F says:

    Animal rights have come a long way in this country, but they haven’t come close to matching the crime with the punishment. I don’t know if that is because our lawmakers see animals as less than humans? I don’t know. It also depends on the judge that hears the case as for leniency. This scumbag wouldn’t be doing 15 years on an animal abuse charge, which is what saddens me the greatest. Caitlyn has been somewhat vindicated, but our legal system has some soul searching to do to redesign the penalties for severe animal abuse. The picture of what he did to her sickened me then, and sickens me now……personally, I’d make it easy on everyone and just handle it myself, and I mean that with every breathe of my being.

    Reply
    • Helen Jordan says:

      Me too Judy F. The law, or lack thereof of & our legal system is a joke! Let someone abuse one of my animals & me be certain of who did it & we won’t have to bother getting the law involved. I firmly believe in an eye for an eye & vigilante justice!

      Reply
    • L. Kinney says:

      Read the article. The 15 years were for other crimes. The judge then gave him 5 years for the animal abuse but it is to be served CONCURRENTLY WITH THE 15 YEARS so basically, he got NOTHING for the animal abuse. People should write and let the judge know how they feel about this injustice for Caitlyn!

      Reply
  36. Marlene Sutton Corbitt says:

    I hope some animal lover that knows someone in the prison he is going to let’s them know what he did to caitlyn. This would be the only way to get justice for her. I hope it spreads in all prisons “Harm an animal and we are going to hurt you ever day you are in prision. Something has to be done to stop animal cruelty there is nothing that the justice syst can do to people like him that would teach him a lesson. Let the prisoners do it. That would be justice

    Reply
  37. Steph_rodgers1@hotmail.com says:

    I hope he is abused in the same manner if not worse for what he did to his poor helpless dog. 😠😠😠 should get life in prison for animal abuse!

    Reply
  38. J says:

    This I’d sick should have life don’t like seeing this on facebook, really sick people don’t deserve dogs or animals even children this is horrible

    Reply
  39. Cheryle Martin says:

    Justice for Caitlyn, finally!! He needs to get a lot more jail time and a bigger fine and NEVER be allowed to own any animal for the rest of his life! Love sweet Caitlyn. She is a real heroine.

    Reply
  40. Pamela D'Angio says:

    What this bastard needs in prison is to get tortured, duct taped, and bleed to death in agony. Animal abuse punishment is not harsh enough and maybe what he did to Caitlyn he will get the same along with being raped. His final days in life he gets cancer, rots and dies.

    Reply
  41. Rhonda Pollard says:

    Rhonda Pollard ( sign Language). I am feel bad about dog.. dog have no reason and new law strict never abuse dog. I love dog I am very sorry ..
    I saw email dog mouth… this man so very Mean person……. I xoxoxo for dog

    Reply
  42. L. Kinney says:

    You are completely right Rhonda. And the abuser was given a sentence of 15 years for his drug and gun charges. He was then given 5 years for the animal abuse. However, the 5 years for the animal abuse will be served at the same time of his 15 year sentence so basically he didn’t get any punishment for the abuse. Not fair for the dog but at least the dog is safe now.

    Reply

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