John Burrows, a soldier from Fort Bragg was charged with felony animal cruelty after admitting to drowning his puppy, whose body was discovered in January 2015, according to the Fayetteville Observer.He admitted to killing his puppy, Riley, because he couldn't afford the medical bills to treat his broken leg. The surgerywould've cost $2500 and Burrows decided to take matters into his own hands.He tied the pup's legs to his snout with a military parachute cord and dropped him into a pond in November 2014. Burrows was sentenced to an immediate 30 days in jail and 100 hours of community service, cleaning out cages at the local animal control.
But Burrow was convicted of a second charge, namely failure to give his dog appropriate medical treatment to heal his broken leg. This conviction included 20 days in jail and 5 years unsupervised probation.
Burrow, 24, appeared in court with his wife recently, where he said in a statement:
I have no excuse. I accept responsibility, and I have learned from my mistakes.
The couple initially made a Go Fund Me campaign to fund Riley's surgery, but then they started allegedly lying to everyone. The lies ranged from Riley dying during surgery to him running away.
The prosecution highlighted the fact that the punishment for Riley, after having done nothing wrong, was "cruel and unusual". Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons then decided to give Burrows a sentence as unusual and cruel as the murder. He said:
What you did was horrible, absolutely horrible, and there are consequences to pay for that.
The judge then sentenced Burrows to carry a picture of the puppy in his wallet for two tears while on probation, so that he could remember Riley every single time he opened his wallet.It seems Judge Ammons is making Burrows suffer from his own guilt until his probation is over, so that he will never hurt another animal again.