Bond revoked for SC man accused of taping dog’s muzzle shut (7-17-15)

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) —A judge on Friday revoked the bond of a man charged with animal abuse after authories say he taped Caitlyn the dog’s muzzle shut.

Surgery on Caitlyn, the South Carolina dog who was severely injured after her muzzle was taped shut, took a little longer than expected but the surgeon is optimistic about her recovery.

The bond was revoked on a prior gun and cocaine charge from March, meaning William Leonard Dodson, 41, will stay in jail until his trial.

He did not appear in court.

Officials say Dodson faces a charge of ill treatment of animals for taping Caitlyn’s muzzle shut in North Charleston in May. Court documents say Dodson purchased the dog, who was known as “Diamond” at the time, for $20 on May 25.

Dodson had been in jail on a $50,000 bond since his arrest in June. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The prosecutor said Dodson was out on bond for those charges at the time of the animal abuse, and that Caitlyn’s former owners have left the state out of fear.

Aldwin Roman, an investigator for the Charleston Animal Society, spoke in favor of having Dodson’s bond revoked, noting a connection between animal abuse and the abuse of people.

Public defender Meagan Gentry wanted the bond to remain as it was, saying that Georgia had a hold on Dodson. Dodson has a long criminal record in Georgia, the prosecutor said.

According to Gentry, there is no evidence that Dodson taped Caitlyn’s mouth. She said the only evidence is statements from other people.

Judge Roger Young expressed concern about alleged threats that Dodson made that were reported by witnesses.

A witness who said she sold him the dog told investigators that Dodson told her that he had taped the dog’s face with electrical tape because she would not stop barking. The witness said Dodson was laughing about the claim, court documents say.

Dodson also reportedly told the witness that he had chained the dog in his front yard but that the dog had broken free and escaped, the affidavit says.

The dog was found the following day on someone’s doorstep with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle.

A medical report from Veterinary Emergency Care described the dog’s muzzle as “markedly swollen with evidence of tape around its muzzle,” and her tongue as “significantly swollen, significantly bruised, discolored (dark purple) and oozing blood,” court documents say.

Earlier this month, CAS officials said Caitlyn was doing well in her new foster home after surgery to heal severe wounds to her muzzle.

Caitlyn is one of 15 rescue animals who will appear with 15 Lowcountry firefighters in an annual calendar to raise money for the Charleston Animal Society, the organization that has helped Caitlyn recover from her injuries.


Incident ID # 200121


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