(Meredith) -- A former police officer in Indiana pleaded guilty this week to animal cruelty for a case involving the neglect of his police-issued K-9, resulting in the dog's death.
Clinton Ellis, 25, pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 365 days in prison, but 311 of those days were suspended to probation. He was also ordered to pay $11,000 in restitution costs.
According to the Batesville Herald Tribune, another police officer found K-9 Blade dead in his cage at Ellis' home on Jan. 1, 2018. The officer noted the dog had "lost a significant amount of weight, was not being taken out regularly and was left to wallow in his cage among his urine and feces" while under Ellis' care.
K-9 Blade had been in Ellis' care since August 2017, according to WTHR.
According to police, Ellis reportedly put the dog's body in a trash bag after it died and threw the bag in a dumpster. Witnesses told WTHR that Ellis later removed the body from the dumpster and put it in a barn until investigating officers picked it up.
Officer Corey Norrod with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources launched an investigation into K-9 Blade's death. According to WTHR, through the investigation, Norrod learned more about K-9 Blade's declining health and horrible conditions he was kept in.
“There was zero doubt that (Ellis) neglected and mistreated that poor dog. Under the circumstances of this case, though, it is only a misdemeanor offense," Franklin County Prosecuting Attorney Chris Huerkamp told WTHR.
Animal cruelty charges in Indiana only become a felony if the suspect has a prior conviction for the same offense.
At the time of his conviction for the animal cruelty case, Ellis was already serving prison time for an earlier case when he pleaded guilty in December to two felony theft charges involving unlawfully seized guns and missing cash while he was a Laurel reserve officer. In that case, he was sentenced to six months in jail and a year of probation. According to Huerkamp, Ellis has been in prison since receiving the sentence in December and will remain incarcerated until both sentences, including the animal cruelty conviction, are complete.