A convicted dog killer won't be spending time behind bars. Wednesday, an Ingham County Judge ordered Andrew Thompson to serve five years probation for violently killing 13 Italian Greyhounds.
During his sentencing, the 24-year-old told the court he will never hurt an animal again.
"I am disgusted, embarrased and have so much remorse for what happened," Thompson said, choking back tears. "I'm shocked that I even let it get to this point."
Prosecutors call his actions heinous. They were pushing for two or four years in prison, while Thompson's attorney argued for probation.
"Sometimes in takes an even such as an arrest to get them the treatment they need to stop the pattern of criminal activity and that is the case with Mr. Thompson," she said.
"Your honor I've lost almost everything that was important in my life, I have no one to blame but myself," Thompson told the court.
The judge sided with the defense.
"I'm not convinced society would be served by spending thousands and thousands of dollars incarcerating you for two or four years," Judge Paula Manderfield said.
Instead, she ordered five years probation, 400 hours of community service and several thousand dollars in fines. Thompson was also ordered to spend one year in Ingham County Jail, but given credit for more than 100 days served. The judge will waive the additional jail time if Thompson successfully completes his probation.
Ingham County Animal Control says the sentence is not enough.
"Disappointing, absolutely, absolutely," Shelter Director Jamie McAloon-Lampman said. "He got the bare minimum, he just got a little slap on the hands as far as I'm concerned."
While Thompson has vowed to turn his life around, animal control officers believe it's an empty promise. They say his abuse of animals will be repeated.
"Oh yeah, it's just a matter of when," McAloon-Lampman added.
Neither Thompson nor his attorney commented after court. His probation includes a number of restrictions, among them, no contact with animals.