Police have arrested a suspect in an animal cruelty case in which a dog had her muzzle taped shut so tightly it may cause permanent damage.
William Leonard Dodson, 41, of North Charleston, South Carolina, was charged with ill treatment of an animal involving cruelty, ABC News 4-WCIV reports.
Caitlyn, a 15-month-old chocolate Staffordshire Terrier mix, was found last week with her mouth taped shut with electrical tape, cutting off blood flow. Officials said they believe Caitlyn was like that for up to 48 hours.
Charleston Animal Society officials say the dog is still recovering and is being given hyperbaric treatments in an effort to save damaged tissue in her mouth.
Dodson was given a bail amount of $50,000 Tuesday and was forced to surrender another dog found at his home, WCIV reports. The bond court judge told Dodson that he was no longer allowed to own pets.
Caitlyn was sold to Dodson last month, according to WCIV. Her former owners told the news station she was a rambunctious puppy and they feared she would cause them to be evicted.
It is unclear whether the former owners knew Dodson when they sold him the dog. When WCIV spoke to the former owners last week, they claimed not to know who had bought Caitlyn. However, an affidavit released during the bond hearing today shows they had known Dodson for a least a year and said he is “like a brother,” WCIV reports.
According to the affidavit, Caitlyn’s former owners sold her to Dodson on Memorial Day for $20. Dodson reportedly returned the following day and said he had taped the dog’s mouth shut because she would not stop barking, but the owners told WCIV he was laughing when he made that statement.
UPDATE 5/4/2015: Caitlyn is recovering after a successful surgery to have her jaw reconstructed and dead tissue removed. She’ll soon be available for foster care. Read about it here.