NEW PORT RICHEY — A Pasco County man who beat his Rottweiler to death will avoid jail time.
On Friday Circuit Judge William Webb sentenced Brian Perry, 48, of Manatee Point Drive in New Port Richey, to three years of probation, mandatory anger management, mandatory substance abuse treatment, no contact with animals — except the two dogs he already owns — and 250 hours of community service. Webb also withheld adjudication in the case.
A jury found Perry guilty of animal cruelty in March. He's been in jail since the verdict and could have faced up to five years in prison.
"I don't want anyone in this courtroom to think that I didn't think what you did was an abhorrent, cowardly thing, because I do," Webb said. "I don't want anyone to think that I'm minimizing what you did."
In May of 2013, Perry had recently rescued 4-year-old Gipper, who weighed about 75 pounds. Gipper ran away and into a nearby river, something he'd done before. The dog ran to a neighbor's house. Perry said he was protecting the neighbor's two small dogs — who were in a screened-in enclosure — when he hit Gipper twice. A veterinarian testified it would take about 10 blows to kill a dog of Gipper's size.
Perry said he gave the dog's body to friends, and he has no idea where it is. Perry's lawyer Alan Miller argued that since Perry was licensed by the state to inspect homes and do contractor work, a guilty adjudication would affect his livelihood.
State prosecutors argued for at least 11 months in jail.
"The fact is he committed a heinous crime with his own two fists," prosecutor Korey Milo said. "He reigned down blows on this poor Rottweiler over 10 times to the head to the body. I want to point the jury took less than 20 minutes to find him guilty."