A Beloit man’s dog scalded under a boiling-hot shower in December didn’t get treatment for four days.
Now, Cody A. Sholes will have to wait four days before he can be out of jail with work-release privileges, a Rock County judge ordered Friday.
Sholes, 26, of 1728½ Porter Ave., Beloit, was convicted of leaving Sunny, his 11-month old golden retriever, under boiling-hot shower water in December. He was convicted of felony mistreatment of an animal and was sentenced Friday by Rock County Judge Karl Hanson.
Sholes asked to serve his entire one-year jail term with work-release, but Hanson ordered Sholes to be taken immediately to jail and have no work release for four days.
“I can only imagine the pain, crying and … the sheer terror that that animal must have felt for that period of time for those injuries to be sustained and in such a manner,” Hanson said.
“This gives me a great deal of concern.”
Sholes reached an agreement Friday to plead guilty and serve three years of probation with 12 months of jail with work-release. He told Hanson he has a full-time job at a grocery store, and the work allows him to provide for his young child.
Beyond answering the judge’s questions, Sholes declined to make a statement to the court.
Hanson said he wanted to include some element of community service in Sholes’ sentence, but in the end he could not trust him around animals.
Additionally, a condition of Sholes’ probation is he cannot have a pet.
“I wouldn’t want an animal to be under your care or supervision either,” Hanson said.
On Dec. 8, Sholes put Sunny under a bathroom shower with water that appeared to be boiling hot, according to court documents and earlier statements from police and local humane society officials. Sholes had left the bathroom to care for a young child.
A doctor who looked at the injuries said the water must have been boiling, therefore more than 200 degrees, and Sunny was exposed to it for more than two minutes, according to court documents.
Some of Sunny’s burns to her head and body were so severe they reached through the skin and into the muscle. Humane society officials said earlier about 20 percent of her surface skin was gone or so burnt it had to be surgically removed.
A veterinarian told police, “In her three years as a veterinarian for the humane society, she had never seen such severe injuries caused by hot water on an animal.”
“This is quite a disturbing complaint to read, sir,” Hanson said.
Hanson said Sholes, as a new father, had come across situations that could have been frustrating. How people respond to those frustrations, he continued, speak to a person’s character.
“This incident does not say anything good about your character, sir,” he said.
Sholes’ lawyer, Benjamin Wagner, said Sholes does not agree with every word in the complaint, but his client still admitted to being “grossly negligent.”
Sholes has previous convictions for battery and disorderly conduct from a 2014 incident.
Assistant District Attorney Anne Nack said she read news reports that Sunny was treated and doing better, but she was not sure herself.
Wagner said he was “not fully aware” of Sunny’s condition.
The Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin could not be immediately reached Friday.
Sunny, Hanson said he could only imagine, was given that name for “happy and positive reasons.”
Sholes, according to the complaint, didn’t think the injuries were bad because Sunny was playful and eating.
“This is truly troubling, sir,” Hanson said.