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Puerto Rico judge sentences man over 17 years in prison for animal cruelty

Edwin Velez Marrero was sentenced to 17 years and three months in prison for aggravated animal cruelty.
Edwin Velez Marrero was sentenced to 17 years and three months in prison for aggravated animal cruelty.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Edwin Velez Marrero of Puerto Rico will spend the next 17 years and three months in prison for aggravated animal cruelty reported Wednesday's press release of the Humane Society of the United States.

Marrero was found guilty in April of the heinous attack on his dog as he used a wooden plank to beat the animal breaking the dog's back. He then dragged the dog to a nearby swamp where he tried to drown the animal.

The dog was saved by Puerto Rico Police Department Officer Julio Cintron, but because of the severity of the dog's injuries, the animal had to be humanely euthanized.

Marrero has previous criminal convictions.

According to Yolanda Alvarez, Puerto Rico director for The Humane Society of the United States:

"This sentence sends a clear message that our society and its legal system condemns violent behavior. We are hopeful that this decision will serve as a deterrent to all those who have contempt for life whether animal or human.”

Puerto Rico has been steadily recognizing the rights of animals and clamping down on animal abusers. Last year, a shocking case of animal abuse in San Juan occurred in May 2013, when the Rabilo Kontento Animal Rescuers found a black stray puppy with his four legs severed. The group had been feeding the mother dog and her puppies just a few days earlier. Since the news of that egregious crime hit the news media, enraged animal lovers throughout Puerto Rico and the United States have been working on stronger animal cruelty laws.

The little puppy named Ocean was humanely euthanized. No one was ever arrested for the crime.

Read more about that story by clicking here.

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