So often we see animals brutally treated by people who are left completely uncorrected. Dogs abandoned outdoors to freeze to death in the cold, pets underfed and forced to search for garbage scraps, and then even worse situations where humans neglect or abuse these helpless creatures.
But other times our justice system works out in a way that makes sense and we support, such as in the case for William Dodson who will be spending the next 15 years of his life in prison. A third of Dodson’s sentence, a total of 5 years, is entirely due to the fact that he savagely taped his pit bull Caitlyn’s snout closed for a total of 36 hours nearly two years ago, causing the poor pup to suffer severe facial scarring and health damage. (1)
Caitlyn’s Abusive Home & Dodson’s 15 Year Sentence
“I’m not trying to be mean,” Circuit Judge Markley Dennis is quoted to have told Dodson in the court when giving his 15-year long prison sentence, “but I wish I could give you more!” Dodson was originally charged with weapons possession, which has a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years, and his five-year sentence for animal cruelty will be served out alongside his other charge. However, many people, not just Judge Dennis, have wished a much more severe sentence upon Dodson after seeing social media images of his dog Caitlyn’s nose and mouth taped shut. Dodson used electrical tape and wrapped it nine times around Caitlyn’s snout, severely damaging her face. (1)
Now, it’s no secret that Dodson has been a multiple-time felon. He’s been in prison since June of 2015, a mere day before the North Charleston police department discovered and then rescued Caitlyn from Dodson’s abuse. Dodson was initially arrested after attempting to conceal marijuana, cocaine, and a loaded weapon, and also ran from the police to avoid arrest. The very next day, a neighbor discovered Caitlyn, called animal control, and she was finally able to be rescued from her abusive home. (1)
According to Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Society director of anti-cruelty and outreach, “I think this sends a message that we’re not going to let this stuff slide anymore. 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 to make them stronger.” Animal abuse is by no means acceptable, and that’s why people like Roman are so hard-set on preventing it. (1, 2)
How Is Caitlyn After Being Rescued?
When she was rescued from Dodson’s abusive home, Caitlyn was taken to be carefully treated by vet technicians, and Roman recalled his first encounter with her as she came into the Charleston Animal Shelter. “I remember seeing the fear in her eyes,” he said. “That was 36 hours of torture.” (1)
Despite Caitlyn’s initial fear, the veterinarians did their best to treat her kindly and offer her great care, removing the tape and discovering a damaged tongue and sinus cavity. Despite her scars and wounds, Caitlyn made a full recovery! Not only is she living proof of the great importance in reporting instances of animal abuse, but her situation also clearly reveals the consequences that animal torturers deserve and will also receive. Caitlyn is very happy and healthy now, living with her kind family and enjoying life. (1)
While Caitlyn was quickly rescued due to the observation and intervention of a kind, concerned neighbor, it often takes more than a simple phone call to help animals who are in desperate need. Animal abuse happens all across the nation, but also all across the world, and remains to be an issue in need of great attention. Careful observation and a willingness to stand up for what’s right, even when it takes a lot of hard work, is often a requirement for saving many creatures in need. Please do your part in protecting our furry friends!