MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (WJBK) - He was seen on video, kicking and punching his dog, even slamming it against a brick wall. Now the Eastpointe man is going to prison, convicted of animal torture - but some still say that sentence is not enough.
"You can't take your frustration out for whatever reason on that animal, no more than you could with a child," said Judge Edward Servitto, Jr., Macomb County Circuit Court.
The judge sentenced 24-year-old John Sporer to 18 months’ probation and 30 days in jail for beating his dog, Meatball, a 98-pound mastiff one year ago.
The video which was shot by Sporer's neighbor - shows the dog being kicked, his head slammed into a brick wall. The video that had some jurors in tears - also had them convict him of animal torture.
"The defendant, despite having broken of this dog's two ribs, and leaving scalp (wounds) from the torture that ensued, has shown no remorse throughout," said Dana Goldberg, Macomb County Assistant Prosecutor.
But Sporer's attorneys say they plan to appeal and that Sporer has been punished enough.
"His life has been turned upside down," his attorney John Malkiewicz said. "He can't go anywhere without people snapping photos and calling him a torturer, an animal, a beast."
When the judge handed down the sentence, animal rescue advocates walked out of the courtroom, unhappy there wasn't more jail time. He had faced a maximum of four years in prison.
"The lack of remorse is amazing," said Theresa Sumpter of Detroit Pit Crew. "You'd think that he would be sorry. 'I'm sorry to the community, I'm sorry to Meatball whom I broke two of his ribs.'"
Sumpter is the director of Detroit Pit Crew. She posted the video of the beating on Facebook last year. She says it forced police to take action.
Fortunately Meatball has since healed, is healthy and has a new, happy home. Here he was greeting jurors after their verdict in December.
Meatball's story, Sumpter says, should serve as a warning for others.
"I hope that other people would potentially be animal abusers will see this," she said. "And think twice before they hurt an animal."