South Carolina police officer John Fuller pleaded guilty to ill treatment of animals for starving his own dog last year.
Fuller served 35 minutes in jail after Cherokee County Chief Magistrate Bart Howell sentenced him to time served with no monetary fine. He was booked into the detention center at 9:35 am and was discharged at 10:10 am.
Normally, a conviction for ill treatment of animals carries up to 60 days in jail and a fine of between $100 and $500. Howell suspended the fine and did not comment on Fuller’s short prison sentence.
Fuller was accused of neglecting and not feeding Flossie, his female boxer. She weighed 32 pounds when an animal control officer seized her from Fuller’s previous home. The normal weight for a female boxer is anywhere from 55 pounds to 65 pounds.
“The veterinarian who treated Flossie said she couldn’t say for sure how long the dog had been without food, but it was weeks, maybe months, with the exception of maybe throwing something out there just enough for her to eat to keep her alive,” a rescue worker said. “This isn’t a dog who just didn’t eat for two days.”
Flossie has since recovered and been adopted by an animal rescue group.
A city administrator said that Fuller could keep his job and that he would not be subject to a reprimand despite his guilty plea.
“You have to look to see whether a person made a bad mistake or a series of bad mistakes and determine how that outweighs other performance,” the city administrator said.
Even though Fuller was able to keep his job, he resigned from the Gaffney Police Department.