PONCE INLET, Fla. (WESH) — A man who beat his 9-month-old puppy to death in Ponce Inlet in 2017 has been sentenced to a year in prison.
Ponce, a 9-month-old Labrador puppy, was found in April 2017 not breathing and leaning against a fence and the side of Travis Archer’s home.Advertisement
The case launched the “Justice for Ponce” movement in Volusia County and led to the passage of a bill stiffening penalties for animal abuse.
In police body camera video, an officer can be heard saying to Archer, “That dog is practically dead,” to which Archer replied, “He bit me.”
Prosecutors played the body camera video during the sentencing on Wednesday.
The veterinarian who reviewed Ponce testified that the puppy suffered blunt force trauma, extensive fractures, a punctured lung and internal bleeding. There was also sharp force trauma on puppy from puncture wounds, the vet said.
Archer’s therapist and ex-wife testified on his behalf, saying the incident led to great suffering for Archer.
The therapist, who Travis Archer voluntarily started seeing after he killed his puppy, said Archer suffered with guilt, depression, even PTSD after the incident. The therapist also testified that Archer had anger issues at the time of the beating.
Archer’s ex-wife told the court Archer was devastated in aftermath of puppy beating. She said Archer loved the dog and doesn’t know why it happened.
Archer also took the stand in his own defense and broke down while apologizing.
He said he’s sorry and takes responsibility and added that he loves the dog. He said he didn’t go home that night to hurt dog and doesn’t know what happened. He grieved and said he’s ashamed that he broke the hearts of his children and community.
The judge, however, was unswayed by the testimony and imposed the maximum sentence for Archer.
He was handcuffed and printed after the sentence came down.
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