The sentence, which seems more on par with a traffic violation than taking an innocent life, has left animal welfare supporters reeling with disappointment.
"It's extremely upsetting. It sends the wrong message to the community and there's no justice for this dog," Sharon Stone, of In Defense of Animals, told The Dodo. "Of course, no amount of money will change the way this dog suffered, but we would like to have seen some jail time."
One reason for the light punishment, says Stone, is that Mississippi has some of the most lenient animal cruelty laws in the nation - wherein the act of burning a dog alive is merely a misdemeanor. That's something she says must change lest animals continue to suffer with little consequence for their abusers.
"Animal cruelty is not a priority here. It should be a felony, no question," Stone said. "We need much stronger laws. If people don't talk to their legislators, they don't know that this is important to them. If the voting public would speak out, they would be a lot more likely to get behind a cruelty law that has teeth in it."