A man from Florida was sentenced to one year in prison Tuesday for biting a small dog on the face and choking it until the dog lost an eyeball. David Etzel, 37, has been charged with cruelty to animals. The incident happened in April when he bit a Shih Tzu named Cujo, which belongs to his mother, Michele Etzel, according to The New York Times.
Michele Etzel believes that her son was in a rage and under the influence of alcohol when the attack took place. “I’m happy he was held accountable for what he did to my dog,” she said, according to The Palm Beach Post. “My son needs alcohol treatment, and he needs anger management treatment.” Palm Beach County Judge Barry Cohen sentenced Etzel to one year in jail and another two for probation. Etzel, who weighs 375 pounds and stands at 6-foot-8, will be subjected to anger management programs and alcohol treatment, as well.
Etzel’s assistant public defender, Jason Daron Gray, said before the verdict was announced that it was Cujo who bit the suspect first, but that was refuted by both state attorneys, Judith Arco and Laura Burkhart Laurie, since there was no evidence of any bites on Etzel’s skin,The International Business Times reported. The veterinarians were able to put Cujo’s eye back in, but the dog will remain blind in that eye.