- Associated Press - Saturday, January 30, 2016

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Animal advocates are decrying a $500 fine levied against a South Carolina doctor whose nine dogs died in his car while he cared for patients.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports (http://bit.ly/20dKnGO) prosecutors made the deal with Charles Allen Bickerstaff of James Island after learning he normally took great care of his Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and was distraught after their deaths in 2014.

The 65-year-old gastroenterologist was arrested on nine felony counts of ill-treating animals, each punishable with up to five years in prison and up to a $5,000 fine. He pleaded guilty in December to a misdemeanor count of abandonment of animals.

The head of the Charleston Animal Society, Joe Elmore, says the sentence makes for a sad day for animals and for the criminal justice system.

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Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com

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