A man from Collin County, Texas convicted of animal cruelty which caused the death of a puppy was sentenced to 12 years in prison on Tuesday.
Andrew Callaway was arrested last year after police said he stomped on and threw a Boxer puppy named Diesel against a wall. Diesel suffered broken bones and in the end, despite efforts from veterinarians, had to be euthanized because of the injuries. Diesel even underwent surgery which vets hoped would save him, Dallas News reported. The puppy’s ashes were brought to court this week, a CBS affiliate reported.
Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis told the CBS affiliate that the harsh sentence sends the right message about animal abuse.
“The sense out there in our community, I think this is true across the nation, is that animal cruelty will be tolerated there’s no excuse for it and can’t be tolerated,” Willis said. “So we need to send a strong message to people out there who abuse or hurt animals. [...] There's all sorts of studies out there that show a correlation between people who abuse animals will also hurt humans. We have to make sure that we have an evidence-based prosecution. Sometimes, things happen and we don't have the evidence for a strong case. In this case, we did have the evidence and it helped."
Callaway, now 27, has claimed he regretted his actions. He admitted to attacking Diesel while embroiled in a fit of rage, CBS New reported.
After Diesel was attacked, vets and city employees alike rooted for him. They even nicknamed him Spirit.
"All those who had the opportunity to meet Spirit or hear his story mourn his passing," Wylie police said in an email after he died, according to Dallas News.
It is still unclear why Callaway appears to be wearing a Snuggie in his booking photo.
[Photo: Wylie Police Department]