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Former Buffalo parks employee sentenced to two years for stabbing pitbull

A former Buffalo city parks employee was sentenced to two years in jail for stabbing a dog in a South Buffalo neighborhood last fall.

James Craddock, 47, previously pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to one count of aggravated cruelty to animals, a felony, for attacking the dog. The owner of the dog, named Audi, was walking him along Mineral Springs Road the morning of Sept. 23. Craddock got out of his city vehicle, exchanged words with the woman, pulled out a knife and stabbed the 9-year-old pitbull.

Audi sustained a deep stab wound but has recovered.

"I'm sorry for what I've done," Craddock told Justice M. William Boller during the sentencing hearing. "I wish I never got out of my truck that day. I'm truly grateful that the dog has had a full recovery."

Boller added an order of protection to the sentence, to run through 2024, to keep Craddock away from the dog's owner.

Craddock, unable to post bail, has been jailed since his arrest. That time will count toward his sentence.

His attorney, Sara Ryan, told the judge that because of his crime, Craddock has lost his freedom, a job he loved, his apartment and all his belongings in the apartment.

The incident happened while Craddock was working an overtime shift for the city. Ryan cited his "impeccable work history," and said he has been researching places he would be eligible for employment as a convicted felon.

The District Attorney's Office had requested the two-year sentence and afterward DA John J. Flynn said, “The actions of this individual were reprehensible and violence towards animals will not be tolerated by this office. I will continue to aggressively prosecute those who do harm to defenseless animals.”

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