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DA: Texas man who hit, choked dog gets 3 years in prison

He pleaded guilty in April to cruelty to a non-livestock animal and asked to be sentenced by a judge. He could have received up to 10 years in prison.
Credit: Harris County DA's Office
The dog, a Corgi-Australian shepherd mixed-breed, was known as “Old Man.”

HOUSTON — A repeat offender recently received three years in prison for animal abuse, according to Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg on Wednesday.

Ogg stated in a press release the man has a history of violence was arrested for hitting and choking a dog.

Michael Wayne Johnson, 48, was arrested in October after witnesses saw him "lift dog off the ground by placing both hands around the dog’s neck and choking the animal. They then saw Johnson repeatedly punch the dog in the face."

The dog, a Corgi-Australian shepherd mixed-breed, is known as “Old Man.” Old Man survived and was taken into custody by BARC animal shelter and was placed in a rescue program for adoption last year.

Johnson pleaded guilty to a non-livestock animal and could have been sentenced to up to 10 years in prison.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Milligan applauded the witness who stepped forward.

 “It is critical that people who observe neglect or intentional abuse against animals report what they see, otherwise, animals have no voice,” Milligan said. “We are grateful for the witnesses who reported the violence against this dog, as they likely saved his life.”

The D.A.'s office said Johnson’s criminal record includes aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The Harris County District Attorney Office is a member of the Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force and encourages reporting animal cruelty by calling 832-927-PAWS or visiting https://927paws.org/