CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - William Dodson, the man who pled guilty to animal abuse and was sentenced to five years in prison for abusing Caitlyn the dog, was denied parole on Wednesday according to parole board spokesman Peter O'Boyle.
The Charleston Animal Society was one of the several organizations in Columbia for the hearing. Members shared their recommendations for Dodson to the parole board.
They also asked their more than 250,000 Facebook followers to voice their concerns to the online court system.
"The website crashed so something happened. I would assume the website probably wasn't ready for that kind of response," Caitlyn case investigator Aldwin Roman who is also the director of anti-cruelty at the Charleston Animal Society. "Animals don't have a voice. They cannot stand up for themselves. They can't advocate for themselves so we have to do that for them."
Roman has been on Caitlyn's case since day one.
"When I saw her, my jaw dropped," he said."I've seen a lot of terrible animal cruelty cases but this was one of the worst. Her eyes are very captivating and she just had this look of defeat. The stance of having given up not only physically but emotionally. How could she trust anyone after what she experienced?"
Dodson was accused of putting tape around Caitlyn's muzzle two years ago.
The dog has since become a beacon for advocating against animal abuse.
Caitlyn was found wandering the streets of North Charleston in 2015 with tape wrapped so tightly around her muzzle that her tongue was stuck between her teeth and she was unable to eat or drink.
She needed multiple surgeries to heal her facial scars and cheek damage.
Although scars remain, Caitlyn has regained her spirit.
"She's getting to finally be a normal dog," Roman said."She goes for walks, running, goes to the beach, playing, and she can bark. She can bark as much as she wants and no one is going to try to tape her mouth shut ever again."
The story of how the dog survived the ordeal quickly went viral on social media and many donated money to cover the medical expenses of Caitlyn's surgeries. She later appeared with Charleston firefighters in their annual calendar and her legacy includes Caitlyn's anti-cruelty fund set up by the Charleston animal society
Dodson was sentenced in March and is serving the five-year sentence concurrently with a 15-year sentence he received on a federal drug and weapons conviction as part of a plea agreement. He claimed that he put the tape around the dog's mouth because she wouldn't stop barking. Dodson is scheduled to be released from prison in April 2018 according to prison records.
Just this week, the Charleston Animal Society released "Caitlyn America's Dog," chronicling the rescue and recovery of the abused dog. The book is available for purchase for $15 and all proceeds go to Caitlyn's anti-cruelty fund helping victims of animal abuse. You can buy it at the Charleston Animal Society or online on this website.