The case hailed as one of the worst incidences of animal abuse in history reached its conclusion today. 42-year-old William Leonard Dodson was sentenced to the maximum penalty of 5 years for duct taping Caitlyn the dog’s mouth closed almost 2 years ago. He has been in jail since June 2015, and was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison yesterday on unrelated drug and weapon possession charges.
The presiding judge said he wished he had the power to give Dodson a heavier sentence for putting Caitlyn through what he described as “hell on earth.”
Almost two years after she arrived at our doors, one of the most horrific calculated acts of abuse towards a dog,…
Aldwin Roman, Director of Anti-Cruelty and Outreach for the Charleston Animal Society, expressed hope that the judge’s words will help in the fight to strengthen the laws against animal abuse and cruelty in South Carolina. He also stated that Dodson was given the opportunity to apologize for his crimes against Caitlyn, but declined to do so.
Caitlyn, a chocolate colored Staffordshire Terrier mix, was found in North Charleston, SC on May 27, 2015 with duct tape wrapped nine times around her muzzle. Her mouth was clamped so tightly shut that her teeth dug into her tongue, cutting off blood supply and leading to tissue death. Her veterinary team estimates that she was in horrific pain and unable to eat or drink for at least 48 hours.
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When the tape was finally removed from her severely swollen muzzle, Caitlyn released a gasp and a scream that still haunt her caregivers to this day. After having part of her tongue surgically removed, veterinarian, Dr. Henri Bianucci feared that Cailyn would not be able to eat or drink and would have to be put down. Luckily, she defied the odds.
As the 2 year anniversary of her rescue approaches, Caitlyn is enjoying life as a beloved family pet of a Charleston Animal Society staff member – the same family she has been with for nearly 2 years. She loves going for long runs every day and greeting the city dwellers who recognize her as a local celebrity.
Caitlyn also keeps busy as the face of a massive crusade to end animal cruelty. She was named People Magazine‘s 2015 Survival Story of the Year and has been featured on just about every news outlet in the world. The hashtag, #IamCaitlyn has come to represent millions of other abused animals.
There are definitely perks that come along with the gig!
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Caitlyn’s Animal Cruelty Fund was established in her name to help other animals suffering in silence. Since 2015 it has funded medical care for hundreds of abused animals, as well as community outreach and awareness programs.
By becoming the scarred, but beautiful face of abused animals across the world, Caitlyn has helped to save countless lives. Today’s sentencing means that William Dodson can now become a distant memory while Caitlyn and her team focus full-time on helping other animals in need.
Click here to make a donation to Caitlyn’s Animal Cruelty Fund.
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