Caitlyn, a 15-month-old chocolate Staffordshire bull terrier mix was found with her muzzle taped shut. Someone had used electrical tape and wrapped it so tight that her tongue was caught between her teeth. The dog was familiar to rescuers and it was only a matter of time before an arrest would be made.
Caitlyn continues to recover at a veterinary specialty care facility near Charleston this morning, receiving hyperbaric treatments twice daily to improve the damaged tissue in her mouth and cold laser therapy to promote the healing. The puppy has already undergone a surgical procedure on her lip, but may lose 25% of her tongue as a result of the black electrical tape wrapped so tightly around her muzzle that the tongue was caught between her teeth. According to the Charleston Animal Society the tape was there for three days.
North Charleston police arrested William Leonard Dodson, age 41, for “ill treatment of an animal involving torture”.
If convicted Dodson up to five years in jail and a $5000 fine. Dodson could also have Caitlyn taken away from him and be ordered to pay for her treatment.
The Charleston Animal Society hopes Caitlyn’s story will draw needed attention to animal cruelty issues. The FBI recently designated animal abuse as a crime against society in a move that will hopefully strengthen existing state laws and bring more attention to these types of horrific crimes.
The tape cut off the blood flow to Caitlyn’s mouth, leading to severe damage to the tissues on her muzzle, mouth and tongue. Veterinary specialists who have been treating her are still waiting to see how well her body will heal. Caitlyn is now able to eat and drink on her own, something she was unable to do during her three-day ordeal and has graduated from intravenous fluids and antibiotics to normal food and oral medications.
Her medical team has high hopes that she’ll make a full recovery.