Michael Earl Hill, 32, from Amherstberg, Canada, pleaded guilty in February to animal abuse resulting in two years of prison time, three years probation, and a 25-year ban from owning animals.This is regarded as a surprisingly harsh punishment in Ontario for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal, but as the assistant prosecutor, Craig Houle, told the court:
There is no other way to describe this act; it’s a despicable act of depravity.
Hill was entrusted with delivering a 7-year-old dog to the local shelter after his owners discovered that their newborn baby was allergic. He was given 60 dollars for the task, but instead of bringing the pup to safety, he tied him up, taped his muzzle and legs together, and left him in a field.
The electrical tape had caused swelling that started cutting off his airways. Veterinarians say that he would have died in a few hours if a passerby hadn't spotted him.
His rescuer, Dean Creswell, was walking his dogs, as usual, near the area and told the Windsor Star:
For some reason they went down further than they normally do … so I went to see where they were at, and I saw the little head poke up. That’s when I saw the little dog.
The manhunt for the culprit began not long after, as the story of the dog, who was later named Justice, touched the community.
The couple quickly turned Hill in once they had realized what he had done. He was arrested and kept without bail. He was placed into solitary confinement reportedly for his own protection and will be required to have mental counseling.The good news is that Justice got justice, and he is now recovering nicely. He was being treated at a local humane society, but he has since been adopted by his new family once he healed.
TheWindsor/Essex Humane Societyhas also started selling stuffed animals that look like him to raise money for the fight against cruelty to animals. They feature his signature scar and go for 30 dollars a piece to finance the anti-violence campaigns. He has become a symbol of the fight to end animal cruelty in Canada.
H/t: The Dodo