A man has been sentenced to five years in prison for taping a dog's muzzle so he could not bark.
William Dodson, 43, from North Charleston, used electrical tape on the mouth of a neighbourhood stray dog named Caitlyn, who was found in a critical condition as the tape cut off the blood supply to her tongue.
Dodson was told by a judge: "I wish I could give you more [time]" as he handed him the maximum penalty available in South Carolina for animal cruelty.
Caitlin was found on someone's doorstep with the tape wrapped round her mouth – and vets believe the tape had been there for at least three days.
The sentence will run alongside Dodson's existing sentence of 15-years on a federal gun charge – so he will not be spending additional time behind bars for his behaviour towards the dog, who was 15 months old at the time of Dodson's action.
Dr. Henri Bianucci who treated Caitlin after she was found with her muzzle taped up told CNN at the time: "Her tongue was in way better condition that we anticipated.
"It was initially assessed that we would lose about a third of her tongue, and we sort of revised that estimate to a fourth, but I don't think she lost an eighth of it."
The chocolate Staffordshire bull terrier spent two hours in surgery following the incident, after which the stray dog was put up for adoption by Charleston Animal Society, who took on the case.