A Euless man who repeatedly beat his puppy and scalded the dog’s back with hot water last year has been sentenced to 10 years on probation.
A Tarrant County jury sentenced Terrell Hill, 24, on Wednesday after finding him guilty of cruelty to animal/torture. The then-4-month-old shepherd mix also was found severely malnourished when Euless police answered a domestic disturbance call on March 16, 2014.
If he violates probation, Hill could be sent to prison for five years.
The dog, Riley, has been adopted and his condition has improved, authorities say.
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Hill also was ordered to pay $5,000 restitution for the medical care that Riley needed.
“It was repeated abuse,” said Tarrant County Assistant District Attorney Ashlea Deener, who prosecuted the case along with Sarah Bruner. “He would toss the puppy out onto the patio and repeatedly kick and beat him.”
Hill bought the puppy in February 2014, and called him Max. Max’s name was changed to Riley when he was adopted.
Euless police responded to a domestic call on March 9, 2014, at an apartment Hill shared with his girlfriend.
“The domestic issue was resolved, but an officer who responded to the call saw the puppy at that time and there were no injuries,” Deener said. “We were lucky there because the officer was a dog person and he noticed such things.”
A week later, Euless patrol officers returned to the apartment on another domestic call, arresting Hill and accusing him of assaulting his girlfriend.
At that time, Euless patrol officers saw that the puppy had injuries.
In March 2014, Hill was charged with cruelty to animal/torture and assault.
The puppy was taken to the Animal Hospital & Clinic of Arlington to recover, and is doing great thanks in part also to Trinity High School’s Girl Awareness Program (GAP), officials said. Staff members nicknamed the puppy Riley.
Riley had burns on the back of his head and along his back, officials said.
Riley was cared for by members of GAP, a service organization that helps the Euless Animal Shelter and the staff at the Animal Hospital & Clinic of Arlington.
Riley’s recovery got a boost in April 2014 from a walkathon at Trinity High School to raise money for not only his care, but for other abused or abandoned dogs and cats.
Riley has since been adopted by Keli Brace, a manager at the Arlington animal hospital.
An assault charge is still pending against Hill, according to Tarrant County criminal court records.
Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763