John Garrett Burrow must also serve 30 days in jail for tossing his dog into a lake in North Carolina

By Amy Jamieson
Updated September 30, 2016 07:48 PM
Credit: Contributed Photo

A judge in Fayetteville, North Carolina, has ordered a soldier who plead guilty to felony cruelty to an animal and misdemeanor cruelty to an animal to carry a photo of the dog he horrifically drowned during his probation.

According to The Fayetteville Observer, who reported the story, John Garrett Burrow, 24, must also serve 30 days in jail, complete 100 hours of community service and go through 24 months of supervised probation.

“I’m sorry,” Burrow, a Fort Bragg soldier, said on Tuesday. “So very sorry, and sorry to Riley. I did love Riley. I did love that dog. I have no excuse.”

Burrow used a parachute cord to tie the 8-month-old German shepherd-mix’s hind and fore legs to the dog’s muzzle around Thanksgiving 2014, the story said, and then tossed the the pup into a lake. The gruesome act shocked animal lovers near and far, leading to a “Justice for Riley” Facebook page.

“There’s no excuse for it,” assistant district attorney Clark Reaves told the newspaper. “Tying a dog up by the legs and cord around the mouth and throwing it in a lake is cruel. He did show remorse, but he deserves jail time.”

Cumberland County Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons ordered five years of unsupervised probation for the misdemeanor, assorted court costs and fines and no pet ownership during his probation, the Observer reported. If Burrow abides by the plea agreements, a felony conviction will be dismissed.

The Observer said Burrow could face military discipline and that his wife Kelsey Burrow, 21, awaits judgment for misdemeanor accessory after the fact after she said in Facebook posts that the dog died during surgery to correct a broken leg, for which they received about $2,500 in donations via a GoFundMe page.