On Friday, William Leonard Dodson was sentenced in one of the most disturbing animal cruelty cases ever presented in North Charleston. With Judge Markley Dennis, referring to Caitlyn’s torture as “hell on Earth” reported the Post and Courier, Dodson was given the maximum sentence for animal cruelty in South Carolina – five years.
“I’m not trying to be mean, but I wish I could give you more,” Judge Dennis told Dodson.
Although Dodson’s prison term will not be extended beyond the 15-year sentence on a federal gun and drug charges ordered on Thursday, advocates applauded the sentencing, stating the penalty sends a strong message to those who abuse and torture animals. The judge stated he would honor the prosecutor’s negotiations with Dodson’s public defender to serve the animal cruelty sentence at the same time as the federal punishment. During the hearing, Caitlyn’s story was told again as a crowd of animal advocates filled the courtroom.
The scar on Caitlyn’s snout is still very visible and few will forget when the dog was first rescued and brought to the Charleston Animal Society as Aldwin Roman, the director of anti-cruelty and outreach described how Caitlyn cried out in pain as veterinarians unraveled the electrical tape wrapped around her snout nine times. It is estimated the dog’s mouth had been taped shut for 36 hours. The dog’s veterinarian report described her muzzle as “markedly swollen with evidence of tape and her tongue as “significantly swollen, significantly bruised, discolored (dark purple) and oozing blood,” a court record stated. Dodson said he wrapped the tape around the dog’s mouth because she wouldn’t stop barking.
As to to the brightest part of the morning, was Caitlyn’s appearance as she happily ran around at the Animal Society chasing balls, appreciating the smiling faces of visitors and loving life.
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You can catch the entire video and reaction from the Charleston Animal Society below. Although there was disappointment that the five years Dodson was sentenced to prison on Friday morning wasn’t added on to sentence, but most are convinced that Caitlyn did find some justice:
We are live at the charleston county courthouse after #Caitlyn sentencing hearing! #IamCaitlyn #JusticeforCaitlyn #adoptatcas
Posted by Charleston Animal Society on Friday, March 24, 2017