A Premier Daily Highlight Story: Sometimes there are stories that can help raise and maintain awareness of important subjects. That’s why we scour the archives and bring some of them back to help keep parents in the know. They may be touching, and even make you shed a tear, but they are meant to keep an important message alive. This story is from March 2017.
In May 2015, a man from South Carolina wrapped electrical tape around his dogâs snout to stop her barking. The dog, named Caitlyn, was stuck in this state for 36 hours before her neighbors found her and called the authorities. The owner, 43-year-old William Dodson received a five-year prison sentence, the stateâs maximum for animal cruelty. But at the end of the trial, Judge Markley Dennis told him, âIâm not trying to be mean but I wish I could give you more.â He described Caitlynâs experience as âhell on earth.â 
âThat was 36 hours of torture.â
One day before the sentence for animal cruelty, Dodson was in federal court, receiving a sentence of 15 years on a gun charge. During a traffic stop, he tossed a loaded Beretta 9 mm handgun, marijuana, and cocaine while trying to escape the police. The two sentences would carry out simultaneously under the plea agreement.Â
Dodson was free on bail from the gun charge in 2015. Thatâs when he wrapped electrical tape around her muzzle nine times and chained her outside. Caitlyn is a Staffordshire bull terrier mix and 15 months old at the time. The tape had cut off blood circulation to her tongue. She managed to escape when the neighbors saw her, ill and weak, and called the Animal Society, where the veterinarians managed to free her from the tape.Â
âI remember seeing the fear âŚ in her eyes,â said Aldwin Roman, Charleston Animal Societyâs director of anti-cruelty and outreach. âThat was 36 hours of torture.â
“Justice for Caitlyn”
Caitlyn underwent multiple surgeries, which included amputating part of her tongue. She still wears the scars from the abuse. The pictures of her bound muzzle sparked major outrage over social media with the trending hashtag: Justice for Caitlyn. When Dodson pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty and received his sentence, she was already living with a new family, according to Charleston Animal Society CEO Joe Elmore; however, she still suffered from stress and anxiety from the abuse.
This trial had ended in 2017 but it sent a strong message about how the law doesnât tolerate animal cruelty, according to Roman. âWeâre going to do everything we can within the law to stop this, and then weâre going to go beyond and change our laws and make them stronger,â he said. 
Dodson was denied parole, a unanimous decision from the seven members on the board, according to Peter OâBoyle, spokesman for S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services. This hearing was attended by Kay Hyman, director of community engagement for the Charleston Animal Society. âI wanted to make sure the parole board understood the severity of this case and how … not only the scars Caitlyn has on her nose still are visible today, she also has emotional scars,â she said on a Facebook livestream.