Central Florida man gets 1 year in jail in puppy’s beating death

The case was the inspiration for a state law increasing penalties for animal abusers

Photo via Volusia County Sheriff's Office
Photo via Volusia County Sheriff's Office (WJXT 2019)

A Volusia County man was sentenced Wednesday to one year in jail for the beating death of his dog in a case that generated so much outrage, it inspired a state law to crack down on animal abusers.

Travis Archer, 46, was sentenced to 365 days in the Volusia County jail followed by three years’ probation. He previously pleaded no contest to animal cruelty, a third-degree felony offense, and adjudication was withheld.

The case stems from an April 8, 2017, call to Archer’s Ponce Inlet home, where officers found his Labrador puppy, Ponce, lifeless and covered in blood. Archer told police he was disciplining the dog for making a mess. He admitted throwing the dog through a wall and against a backyard fence.

“The defendant’s attack of his pet companion Ponce was brutal and deadly,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said. “The silver lining of this case is that the legislature increased the possible penalty for future crimes of this nature. Justice equals accountability, and that was achieved today.”

The case was the inspiration for Ponce’s Law, a piece of legislation that took effect in 2018. It ratchets up the sentencing guideline points for animal abusers, making them more likely to receive jail or prison time. It also authorizes judges to ban offenders from owing pets for life.

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