A Durango man is looking at the possibility of six months in prison and a $500 fine after being ticketed for taping his dog's muzzle shut and leaving him in a hot car.

The Durango Herald reports today 23-year-old Thomas D. Ethridge was ticketed on July 18 by Animal Services. He is accused of duct-taping his dog's muzzle shut and leaving him in a vehicle parked at the Durango Community Center in 89-degree heat.

According to the Durango Herald, on July 18, a number of people passing through the parking lot took photos of the dog as well as the vehicle's license plate. After confronting Ethridge, they called 911.

When Ethridge learned Animal Protection was looking for him, he went to the La Plata County Humane Society. At that time, he was issued a ticket.

According to Ethridge, he is ready to face the consequences of what he's done. In a statement to the Durango Herald, he said, "I didn't do this maliciously or to harm him." He added, "I love my animal... I've spent every single day with him."

While Ethridge says he's ready to take responsibility for his actions, those on social media are not quick to forgive.

Durango Herald comments

Ethridge has been ticketed for cruelty to animals, a Class I misdemeanor. He is scheduled to appear at 8:30 a.m. on August 23 at the La Plata County Court.

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