ROCKVILLE, Md. - A man who pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty and resisting arrest has been sentenced to six months in prison for nearly strangling two pit bull puppies.
Back in June 2015, dash cam video recorded James Jones, the former owner of the two dogs, Mia and Chance, struggling with officers who deployed their Tasers to get him to stop hurting the animals that were foaming at the mouth and unresponsive. Mia was even vomiting blood and suffered damage to her lungs, according to court documents.
“This was a savage attack against these animals and I will tell you it was a difficult situation besides the abuse on the animals,” said Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy. “There was the resistance to the police officers. These good men and women from the Montgomery County Police Department are out there rolling around on the ground trying to save the lives of these dogs.”
In court on Wednesday, Jones said he was sorry and his defense was that he did not intentionally try to hurt the dogs that night. His attorney said he bought and smoked what he thought was marijuana, but it turned out to be K2, a synthetic substance that has effects similar to PCP.
But the judge did not think those reasons were strong enough to excuse the violent attack. Jones was sentenced to the maximum punishment under the plea deal – six months in jail and five years of probation.
Both Mia and Chance survived the incident and got a second chance at a happy life. They are now two years old and have no lasting effects to their health. Sarah Martinez and her husband, who is one of the police officers who responded to the chaotic scene two years ago, adopted Chance.
“Dogs are such selfless animals and they love with all their being so when something happens like that to a dog who can't really defend themselves, it's very emotional,” said Martinez.
In court, Jones was in custody and in a prison jumpsuit. But it was not due to this case, but because he is serving a one-year sentence for unlawful possession of a firearm in D.C.