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North Charleston Police have made an arrest in the case of Caitlyn, a chocolate Staffie who was found last week in critical condition with electrical tape wound tightly around her muzzle.
William Leonard Dodson, 41, is being charged with ill treatment of animals and torture after allegedly buying Caitlyn from her previous owners for $10 just two days prior to being found.
When Caitlyn was found, the images of her abuse quickly spread throughout the world, touching millions and spurring a nationwide manhunt for the person responsible. Caitlyn’s previous owners contacted Animal Control with information about the man that bought their dog.
According to the couple, the 15-month old Staffordshire terrier mix was too much to handle, destroying their property. For fear of being evicted from their home, they opted – instead of giving the dog the attention and training she needed – to sell her.
They sold Caitlyn, then named ‘Diamond’, to Dodson on Memorial Day for $10.
Two days later, when her previous owner stepped outside to leave for work, he found his former dog on the front porch, her muzzle taped shut. Apparently the dog had returned to the only home she knew for help.
Caitlyn’s previous owner asked a neighbor to call 911.
“I have a dog that’s here at my house that I found and the dog’s mouth is taped shut with electrical tape, tongue hanging out its mouth, bleeding, and his tongue is completely black,” WACH Fox 57 has reported the 911 caller saying. “I just don’t know what to do.”
Veterinarians believe Caitlyn’s mouth had been taped shut for two days, meaning Dodson would have done this to her shortly after buying the dog.
If convicted of ill treatment of an animal, Dodson could face up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.