Man accused of taping Caitlyn the dog’s muzzle indicted on unrelated federal charge

William Dodson

The man accused of duct-taping Caitlyn the dog’s muzzle shut has been federally indicted on an unrelated charge of possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.

William Leonard Dodson, 42, of Quitman Street in North Charleston has been held in the Charleston County jail since June 1.

In the Wednesday indictment, he is accused of unlawfully possessing a Beretta pistol and 9 mm ammunition on March 9, according to online court documents. If convicted, he faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

The case was investigated by agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and North Charleston Police Department and is assigned to assistant U.S. Attorney Nick Bianchi of the Charleston office for prosecution.

According to investigators in the animal cruelty case, Dodson bought Caitlyn, then named Diamond, from North Charleston residents in late May for $20. He later complained to a witness that the Staffordshire bull terrier mix was barking too much, so he bound her mouth with electrical tape. After the dog broke free of its chain outside Dodson’s home, officers found her with the tape wrapped nine times around her muzzle.

Renamed Caitlyn, the dog lost part of her tongue and later underwent a series of surgeries to repair the damage. News of her abuse and recovery spread around the world. She is doing well in a foster home now.

Reach Melissa Boughton at 843-937-5594 or at