A soldier who intentionally drowned his 8-month-old puppy must carry a photo of the dog in his wallet for two years, a North Carolina judge ruled Tuesday. The Army Times reports 24-year-old John Burrow, stationed at Fort Bragg, used military parachute cord to tie his dog Riley's feet to his snout then threw him into a pond in 2014. Riley kept running away from home and Burrow couldn't afford the vet bill after the puppy hurt itself, according to WTVD. "I did love that dog," the Fayetteville Observer quotes Burrow as saying in court Tuesday. "I have no excuse." Burrow's lawyer described him as a "good young man" who made a "bad decision."
"I don't want this to be the ruination of your life, but I hope Riley's legacy will bring awareness to animal abuse," judge Jim Ammons told Burrow, who pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty. Ammons sentenced Burrow to 30 days in jail and 100 hours of community service. He also has to carry a picture of Riley in his wallet for two years and can't own a pet for five. Burrow's wife, Kelsey Burrow, is facing charges, as well. She allegedly lied on Facebook, claiming Riley died during surgery for a broken leg in order to solicit donations on GoFundMe. John Burrow may face additional military discipline in the case. (Read more animal cruelty stories.)