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CHARLESTON, SC – The 43-year-old man who wrapped electrical tape around his dog’s muzzle to stop her from barking has been sentenced to five years in prison.

William Dodson, 43, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges after he chained his 15-month-old Staffordshire bull terrier outside before wrapping her muzzle nine times with electrical tape.

The dog “Caitlyn” escaped and was found later in critical condition as the tape had cut off blood flow to her tongue. It took veterinarians at the Animal Society 36 hours to unravel the tape. Caitlyn survived but required multiple surgeries and lost part of her tongue.

According to Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore, Caitlyn is now living with a new family and thriving, but continued to suffer from anxiety and stress.

Dodson received five years in prison for what he did to his dog – the state’s maximum for animal cruelty. “I wish I could give you more,” said Judge Markley Dennis.

This sentence was handed down a day after Dodson was sentenced to 15 years in prison for a gun charge he got in a 2015 traffic stop. Prosecutors say Dodson tossed a loaded pistol and drugs as he ran from police.

However, this newer sentence will not prolong Dodson’s prison stay as his plea agreement states he will serve the two sentences simultaneously. Pfffft.

But still, this sentence at least shows prosecutors in South Carolina are not tolerating animal cruelty in their state and, hopefully, work at making animal cruelty punishment a lot stiffer.

“We’re going to do everything we can within the law to stop this, and then we’re going to go beyond and change our laws and make them stronger,” said Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society’s director of anti-cruelty and outreach.

Compared to what Caitlyn looked like when her pictures first hit social media, I’d say she is making a remarkable recovery. Kudos to everyone who had a hand in it.

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