An electrical cord tied tight around its neck had grown embedded into the skin. The dog was starved, bruised and beaten. Veterinarians didn't know whether the animal would survive.
Eight months later the pit bull -- renamed "Tommy" -- finally had its day when its former guardian Tracia Johnson
was sentenced Wednesday to a year probation, 250 hours of community service and the forfeiture of her $1,000 bail.
Animal advocates had wanted the St. Clair County judge to mete out a harsher sentence. Still, they took solace in knowing that Tommy has survived his mistreatment and moved onto a much better life.
At yesterday's sentencing, Tommy was on hand outside the courtroom with his new owner, Tim McGowan
, who bested dozens of other applicants who also offered to adopt Tommy.
"He hit the jackpot and we hit the jackpot," McGowan tells the Belleville News-Democrat
. "He's such a
sweet guy. He's well-adjusted, now that he knows what love is."
The dog was found clinging to life in a trash can behind a Cahokia home last October.