BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A man is heading to prison for six months after he was captured on video trying to strangle two puppies in Montgomery County in 2015.
The video was truly heart wrenching. The man who nearly choked two puppies to death said he did it while experiencing a drug-fueled rage.
The man is seen on the ground wrestling with police was in the midst of strangling two six-week-old pit bull puppies named Mia and Chance.
Court documents later revealed James Jones had caused the pups to foam at the mouth and show signs of being in “obvious physical distress.”
Jones has been convicted for felony animal cruelty charges.
“This was a savage attack against these animals and I will tell you it was a difficult situation. Besides the abuse on the animals it was the resistance to the police officers,” says Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy.
In court, Jones’ defense was that he under the influence of drugs. What he was thought was marijuana was actually closer to the hallucinogenic drug PCP.
This comes as Maryland strengthens its laws against cruelty to animals.
This pass legislative session, Maryland lawmakers OK’d several animal protection bills, including a law now requiring veterinarians to report cruelty similar to the way doctors or teachers would report child abuse.
“This case demonstrates that animal cruelty is an egregious and violent crime and should be treated as such under the law,” says Chloe Waterman of the ASPCA. “There’s a lot of room to go.”
In Maryland the maximum penalty for cruelty is now three years. However, that could change if there’s a large enough outcry for even tougher punishments.
As for Mia and Chance, they’ve since recovered and have ended up in forever homes.
Chance was adopted by one of the officers who saved his life.
“Dogs are such selfless animals and they love with all their being,” says the officer’s wife Sarah Martinez.
In a twist of fate, months after their rescue, both siblings were happily reunited.
Jones could end up serving 30 more months in prison if he breaks the law, including owning another pet.
Jones is also currently serving time on an unrelated gun possession charge.