Locals are outraged that a person who is capable of brutally murdering a dog might walk away with just probation for his crime. They say he should be behind bars.
"The animal welfare laws are too lean, we need tougher laws," local animal rights activist Helen Kett said.
Joseph Nelson, 18, was charged with aggravated cruelty to an animal and criminal mischief back in November after he beat and gutted his mom's dog and then hung it from its leash at the Old Mill Foot Bridge.
But now, prosecutors have reached a plea agreement for Nelson to only serve probation for his crime.
And locals say this is hardly a punishment.
"It was a brutal crime and I feel that that's not true justice for the dog that was murdered," Kett said.
"Probation is probably the most minimal thing you could give to anyone and I think he should be in prison," dog owner Natalie Ivey said.
A local animal shelter says it gets animals who have been abused brought in regularly.
"A lot of these dogs were strays or brought in and we don't know much about them," Director at Roice Hurst Humane Society Judy Bowes said. "We have to work with them and sometimes we get a feeling whether they've been mistreated."
Shelters say when animals are abused they can tell by their behavior.
"Sometimes they're either very fearful or they can be aggressive," Bowes said.
Locals say even the man who drug Buddy the dog up the Monument received jail time, even though he deserved a longer sentence too.
"The man that murdered Buddy the dog got three years in prison," Kett said. "Here we have a young man that brutally murdered a dog yet he's going to walk away with just probation. I don't understand that."
"I think it's a felony and he should get sentenced as if he murdered a person," Ivey said. "Dogs are innocent and unconditionally loving."
Nelson is due in court later this month where a judge will decide if the plea agreement will go through.
The judge on the case has received a letter from an animal rights activist group expressing their frustration over letting Nelson get away with what they say is a slap on the wrist.