A former honor roll student has been sentenced to 4 years in jail; after setting his family’s doghouse on fire while the pet was inside.
Caleb Lanier, 23, of Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced on Thursday over his conviction of felony animal cruelty for intentionally burning the doghouse and his dog in an attack that left the animal with burns to more than 60 per cent of its body.
Prosecutors said Lanier used a torch to attack his brother’s dog before sealing it in a doghouse and setting it on fire in May 2015.
Testifying in court, Vet Regan Burford said the it had undergone agonizing treatment but would still suffer health problems.
She treated the dog after the attack but has since adopted the animal and named it Sweet Potato Fry.
‘She remains a silent victim to an unimaginable act of malice, malicious torture, abuse and disfigurement,’ Ms Burford told court.
Family members of Lanier testified in court that the incident seemed out of character for someone they considered had a promising future, WSB-TV Atlanta reported.
One person said of Lanier: ‘I know Caleb is no danger to the community.’
However, prosecutors called Lanier dangerous.
They presented evidence that animal abusers don’t suddenly stop their behavior.
Psychologist Dr. Maya Gupta said: ‘There’s a 70 per cent chance they will commit other crimes in that time span.’
Prosecutors wanted Lanier jailed for eight years; but the judge cut that in half, sending him to prison for four years.