William Dodson Sentence

William Dodson enters Judge Markley Dennis' courtroom to be sentenced in the animal cruelty charges against "Caitlyn", a dog he once owned. Dennis sentenced Dodson to the maximum sentence of five years in prison.(Brad Nettles/Staff)

A North Charleston man convicted of animal cruelty so heinous that it prompted a judge to call the dog's ordeal "hell on earth," during a March sentencing hearing is scheduled to appear before a parole board this month. 

William Dodson, 43, was sentenced to serve five years in state prison in March after he pleaded guilty to felony ill treatment of animals. He is scheduled for a parole hearing on Oct. 11, the Charleston Animal Society said late Friday.

Dodson was given credit toward his 5-year sentence for time served in jail since June 1, 2015, according to court records.

"We hope people will take the time to oppose Dodson's parole, because we want to send a clear message that animal cruelty should not be tolerated in South Carolina," said Aldwin Roman, the organization's director of anti-cruelty and outreach. "Caitlyn cannot speak for herself." 

Police officers found Dodson's Staffordshire bull terrier mix with electrical tape wrapped nine times around her muzzle. Renamed Caitlyn, the dog lost part of her tongue and needed repeated surgeries.

Her ordeal caught the attention of people around the world. 

Dodson also has been convicted on federal charges that stemmed from a traffic stop in March 2015.

During that incident, he tossed a loaded Beretta 9 mm handgun, along with some cocaine and marijuana, as he ran from North Charleston police officers. He was caught and the officers found the evidence.

He received a 15-year federal sentence in connection with the incident. 

Dodson was free on bail in May 2015 when someone spotted his dog, called Diamond at the time.

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Caitlyn dog

Caitlyn plays outside the Charleston Animal Society's North Charleston shelter in March last year. (Brad Nettles/Staff)

On Friday, the Animal Society encouraged anyone who wishes to oppose Dodson's parole to do so in person or online. 

The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. Oct. 11 at the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services offices, 2221 Devine St. in Columbia on the fourth floor.

Those who wish to oppose Dodson’s parole can also fill out an online form by visiting the department's website, going to the Victim Services tab, selecting Parole Hearing Explanation, going to Oppose Parole or Pardon for an Offender and entering information including Dodson's inmate number: 00371880.

If he is paroled at the state level, Dodson will move into federal custody.

This story has been updated to reflect that Dodson was given credit for time served in jail since 2015.

Reach Gregory Yee at 843-937-5908. Follow him on Twitter @GregoryYYee.

Gregory Yee covers breaking news and public safety. He's a native Angeleno and previously covered crime and courts for the Press-Telegram in Long Beach, CA. He studied journalism and Spanish literature at the University of California, Irvine.