Man Who Taped Caitlyn the Dog's Mouth Shut Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
A judge called the dog's horrific ordeal "hell on earth," The Post and Courier reports
Justice has finally been served for Caitlyn.
William Leonard Dodson was sentenced in a South Carolina court on Friday to five years in prison for abusing the dog, according to the The Post and Courier, which was present at sentencing. Dodson received the maximum punishment for animal cruelty in that state.
In 2015, Caitlyn’s story made headlines after she was discovered with her muzzle taped shut with electrical tape and faced a long, painful road to recovery.
“I’m not trying to be mean,” Circuit Judge Markley Dennis told Dodson on Friday, “but I wish I could give you more.”
Dodson, who is also serving 15 years on a federal gun charge, will serve both sentences simultaneously, The Post and Courier reports.
In the years following her ordeal, Caitlyn has become the face of humane care for all animals. She still has some medical issues — paid for by Caitlyn’s fund, a fund set up by the Charleston Animal Society, which now also aids other victims of cruelty — and has found a permanent foster home in the Mount Pleasant section of Charleston.
The energetic pooch lives with two young boys, runs six miles a day with her foster parent, and has a best friend in another dog named Oreo, a spokeswoman for the Charleston Animal Society tells PEOPLE.
During her journey, she has lent a paw to other victims of violence — like a 5-year-old who had been shot walking to a Charleston park with his grandmother.
In a statement given to PEOPLE, the Charleston Animal Society said Caitlyn continues to recover from anxiety and stress she developed after the trauma she endured at the hands of Dodson.
“Our number one priority is Caitlyn’s health and well-being and we are attending to special needs she has and will continue to do so,” said Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore.
Added Aldwin Roman, director of anti-cruelty and outreach for the Charleston Animal Society: “We are happy that there was finally justice for Caitlyn but this reminds us that we still have a lot of work to do. There are hundreds more Caitlyns out there that need our help.”