Bond revoked for man accused of taping Caitlyn's muzzle shut

VIDEO: Bond revoked for man accused of taping Caitlyn's muzzle shut
Caitlyn (Source: Charleston Animal Society)
Caitlyn (Source: Charleston Animal Society)

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A judge revoked the bond for the man charged with animal abuse in the case of Caitlyn the dog at a bond revocation hearing on Friday morning.

The bond was revoked on a prior gun and cocaine charge from March, meaning he will stay in jail until his trial.

William Leonard Dodson, 41, did not appear in court.

Officials say he faces a charge of ill treatment of animals for allegedly taping Caitlyn's muzzle shut in North Charleston in May. Court documents allege Dodson purchased the dog, which was known as "Diamond" at the time, for $20 on May 25.

Dodson had been in jail on a $50,000 bond since his arrest in June. The charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

The Prosecutor stated that Dodson was out on bond for those charges at the time of the alleged abuse, and that the former owners of Caitlyn have left the state out of fear.

Assistant Solicitor Ted Corvey showed Judge Roger Young photos of Caitlyn after she was found.

"I think it is clear from the photographs in this case and the evidence this was an extremely violent act," Corvey said.

Aldwin Roman, the investigator for the Charleston Animal Society, spoke in favor of having Dodson's bond revoked, noting a connection between animal abuse and the abuse of people.

"Him getting out is not just a threat to animals in our community but the citizens in our community," Roman said after the hearing.

Public defender Meagan Gentry wanted the bond to remain as it was, stating that Georgia had a hold on Dodson. Dodson had a long record in Georgia, the Prosecutor said.

According to Gentry, there is no evidence Dodson taped Caitlyn's mouth.

"As of now that's the only evidence in this case, the statements from other people who prior had the dog claiming it was him who did this," Gentry said.

Judge Young expressed concern about alleged threats made by Dodson reported by witnesses.

A witness who said she sold him the dog told investigators Dodson approached the woman who sold him the dog and said he had taped the dog's face with electrical tape because she would not stop barking. The witness said Dodson was laughing about the claim, court documents state.

Dodson also reportedly told the witness he had chained the dog in his front yard but that the dog had broken free and escaped, the affidavit states.

The dog was found the following day on someone's doorstep with electrical tape wrapped around her muzzle.

A medical report from Veterinary Emergency Care described the dog's muzzle as "markedly swollen with evidence of tape around its muzzle," and its tongue as "significantly swollen, significantly bruised, discolored (dark purple) and oozing blood," court documents state.

Earlier this month, CAS officials said Caitlyn was doing well in her new foster home following surgery to heal severe wounds to her muzzle.

"She's still healing, the scars are still there and honestly the scars may never go away. It speaks to how horrific this crime is," Roman said.

Caitlyn is one of fifteen rescues who will appear with 15 Lowcountry firefighters in an annual calendar to raise money for the Charleston Animal Society, the organization that has helped Caitlyn recover for her injuries.

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