James Guy Bull will spend five years in prison for the repeated rape of an 8-month-old puppy
James Guy Bull will spend five years in prison for the repeated rape of an 8-month-old puppy Florida State Attorney's Office

A man convicted of fondling and repeatedly raping an eight-month-old female pit bull puppy will spend five years in prison, according to the Florida State Attorney's Office.

James Guy Bull of Daytona Beach, Florida pleaded guilty to two counts of felony cruelty to animals, misdemeanour animal cruelty charges and misdemeanour sexual activities involving animals, according to USA Today.

"The facts of this case are incomprehensible and vile," State Attorney R.J. Larizza said. "The defendant's abuse of the helpless dog shocks the collective conscience of the citizens of the Seventh Circuit and beyond."

On 18 March, two of Bull's neighbours reported his behaviour, stating that they had seen him fondling the dog's private parts on several occasions, despite cries and yelps from the puppy named Coco.

It was also reported that a neighbour, walking near Bull's apartment caught him in the act of having sex with the dog, prosecutors said.

"When (Bull) saw (him), he pulled up his pants and put the dog down," court records stated.

Police officers later arrived to find that the emaciated animal's body showed evidence of an assault. The small dog was chained to a post on the front porch. "She had about 8 inches of free reign, no water, no shelter and no food for her," an affidavit said.

The affidavit also said the dog showed signs of physical sexual abuse and was "skittish and obviously afraid."

When Judge Leah Case announced the verdict, animal activists wearing "Justice For Rose" T-shirts with the puppy's picture "cried and cheered," the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

The dog, previously named Coco, was renamed Rose by the rescue organisation now caring for her.

The organisation's Facebook page, Rose's Road to Recovery began in April when the dog arrived at Second Chance Rescue.

A statement on the Facebook page said: "This page was made to tell Rose's painful story; to be her voice. The only way to fight animal abuse is to make people aware of stories like this and try to get more people to speak out and do something."