Man charged in dog abuse case sentenced Thursday

Autumn the dog was at the center of an animal abuse case (WFSB)

It's a case of animal cruelty that has been followed since the beginning.

Autumn, a pit bull mix, was severely abused and the dog's owner was arrested. Now that owner was told how long he will spend behind bars.

It's the first sentencing since Desmond's Law was signed by the governor last year.

On Thursday, the judge sentenced Joe Irizarry to six months in jail, then probation. He was found guilty of animal cruelty.

After that time, if he violates his probation, he could get five years in prison.

Many animal lovers came to court to see for themselves and filled up the courtroom.

“This has been a long time coming in this state, in the country. This is the first jail sentence that we've gotten under the new Desmond's Law,” said Christine Kiernan, of Desmond’s Army.

The pit bull mix who is now known as Autumn, was starved and beaten so badly she couldn't walk.

Irizarry also can't have a weapon or a pet during his probation time.

Since Irizarry’s arrest last October, Desmond's Law was signed by the governor and went into effect Oct. 1, 2016.

The law uses pro-bono attorneys and volunteer law students to investigate the case of animal abuse. They stand for the animal.

The inspiration came from a dog named Desmond who was abused and murdered.

This isn't the only animal abuse case in the state.

“Close to 60 pending cases in the state of Connecticut, open cases, that deal with animal cruelty,” Kristine Cormier, of Desmond’s Army, said.

Desmond’s Army says they still have a lot of work to do but this is a start.

“There was no justice for Desmond but Autumn got justice today so this is a big deal. We put our hearts into this,” Kiernan said.

As for Autumn, she has since recovered and has been adopted into a loving home with five children.

Copyright 2017 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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