As animal lovers, there are certain things that people do to dogs that understandably enrage us. We don’t understand why anyone would abandon their dogs on the street as opposed to a shelter (although both sadden us), we don’t get why anyone would leave a dog in a car on a hot day, and we cannot wrap our heads around people who force their dog to live in squalor inside of a filthy and unsanitary house. However, none of these things anger us quite as much as someone who intentionally abuses their dog. Things get even more frustrating when the offenders are caught but the hammer of justice does not come down even close to as hard as it should … or maybe could.

Recently, a Fort Bragg soldier from North Carolina by the name of John Burrow was convicted a year after intentionally drowning his eight-month-old puppy in a freezing cold body of water. Burrow pled guilty to the felony but also tried to make excuses to the investigators. After the puppy was found washed ashore, Burrow alluded to why he committed the horrific act stating that the puppy had run away several times (we wonder why…) and he and his wife could not afford a veterinary bill after the puppy had gotten hurt while out of the house. Burrow’s wife, Kelsey, was also charged with a misdemeanor accessory for setting up a GoFundMe page soliciting money for the dog’s broken leg after the pup was already dead.


Obviously, the information Burrow shared is in no way an excuse for his actions. However, instead of coming down hard on Burrow, Superior Court Judge Jim Ammons gave the abuser an extremely light, and somewhat unorthodox, sentencing: 30 days in jail, 100 hours of community service (which can be served cleaning out cages at Animal Control), and he must keep a photograph of the puppy in his wallet during his two years on probation.

That’s right, folks. This violent individual will spend exactly one month in jail, will be released and potentially serve his hours of community service near other innocent animals, and will bizarrely be forced to keep the photo of the puppy he heartlessly murdered in his wallet. Now, correct us if we’re wrong, but how is that an adequate punishment? This man robbed the life of another being and after 100 hours, will only be required to keep a photo of the dog in his wallet, probably sandwiched between his customer loyalty punch card for the local coffee shop and an old gas station receipt. This is not okay.

Since the sentence has already been doled out, it cannot be modified, but we still took the liberty of thinking up a few alternate punishments we think would be more appropriate. Make sure to vote below as to which one you think is the most fitting!

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Image source: Kelsey Burrow