Warning: This story contains images which may distress some people.
A man who taped a dog's mouth shut has been given the maximum jail sentence possible.
William Dodson of South Carolina muzzled Caitlyn, a Staffordshire mix, with electrical tape to stop her from barking in May 2015, the Associated Press reports.
She was found 36 hours later, her mouth swelling and her protruding tongue black from a lack of circulation. Reconstructive surgery was successful.
Dodson was sentenced to five years in jail, but much to the sentencing judge's annoyance, it'll be served concurrently with a 15-year sentence on an unrelated gun charge.
"I'm not trying to be mean," Judge Markley Dennis told Dodson, "but I wish I could give you more."
Charleston Animal Society director Aldwin Roman said the sentence was "as good as we could expect".
"At the end of the day, he's going to serve 15 years in prison," he said in a video posted to Facebook, cradling Caitlyn in his arms.
"Today was all about sending a message to our community and really across the country and across the globe that we're not going to tolerate animal cruelty anymore. We're going to do everything that we can within the law to get justice for victims of animal abuse."
Caitlyn continues to suffer from anxiety and stress, Charleston Animal Society chief executive Joe Elmore told the Associated Press.