A former University of Illinois at Chicago gymnast convicted in March of animal cruelty for throwing a pot of boiling water on his dog was sentenced Thursday to one year of probation.
"I never meant to hurt Byron. I loved him," Kyle Voissem, 21, was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as saying. "I have learned a lot from this experience."
Voissem's probation does not bar him from owning a pet for the next year, a fact that angered animal-rights activists in the courtroom.
The former gymnast lost his scholarship and was kicked out of school after the incident, his attorney said.
Voissem, of West Allis, Wis., was earlier this year found guilty after a two-day bench trial and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
According to prosecutors, Voissem was boiling water to make macaroni and cheese for dinner in October 2011 when the he Mountain Cur mix, Byron, urinated on the floor of his apartment in the 1700 block of South Desplaines Street.
Voissem, a criminal justice major at UIC, angrily poured the scalding water all over the dog’s head and torso. The dog suffered second- and third-degree burns, authorities said.
Later that month, Voissem gave the dog to the Anti-Cruelty Society, which provided veterinary care and found the dog a new home.