On Monday, David Williford of Olympia, Washington, was charged with 12 counts of animal cruelty in regards to animals found in horrific conditions at his home on Cooper Pointe Road. He was ordered to be held in jail on $150,000 bail by Judge Erik Price.
“The allegations at this point are truly disturbing,” Judge Price told the court.
Christen Anton Peters, Thurston County Deputy Prosecutor, described—and showed in extremely disturbing photos--a house, yard and basement filled with bloody fur, feathers, bones and rotting flesh of dozen of rabbits, rodent, dogs and guinea pigs.
Reportedly all of the animals were obtained by Williford through Craigslist ads, Peters told USA Today.
Investigators said he looked for animals that were cheap or given away "free" and told the former owners he wanted to 'rescue' their pets and give them a good home.
Williford was arrested last Friday after a veterinarian determined one of the dead Guinea pigs was killed by blunt force trauma following "undue suffering," Inquisitr states.
Peters told the court that more than 20 Guinea pigs, rats, rabbits and dogs were found dead on his property, and there was evidence that they had been tortured and then starved to death.
Amidst the blood-spattered walls and dead carcasses, dozens of animals were also found still alive. None had food or water and many were in desperate need of immediate veterinary care.
According to Williford’s attorney, the scene was simply a sanitary slaughterhouse. He claimed that Williford had intended to eat the meat and had been eating it on a regular basis. Officials state that they found no evidence that Williford was using the animals as a food source.
Williford faces six counts of first degree animal abuse as well as six counts of second degree animal abuse.
Several dogs were found in the attic, locked in cages with no light, bedding, food or water. The former pets who had allegedly been given away on Craigslist, jumped into the arms of their rescuers, reported KOMO News.
“I’ve seen many cases of animal cruelty in my career as a prosecutor," Peters said, "this is clearly the most disturbing case that I have ever reviewed.”
ANIMAL CONTROL WARNS AGAINST GIVING AWAY “FREE” ANIMALS
Thurston County Animal Control has advised people who advertise animals for free on Craigslist to be cautious about anyone to whom they give an animal.
The agency advises pet owners who absolutely cannot keep their pets to not be afraid to ask questions or make a couple of phone calls before allowing a stranger to take a trusting pet. They recommend that, if you feel uncomfortable with a person (or if your pet seems uncomfortable with them), don’t be afraid to tell them you changed your mind about giving the animal away.
Ingham County Animal Control in Michigan, in a June 2013 article entitled, “Animal Control Warns About Dangers of 'Craigslist Ads' and 'Pet Flippers,'” advises:
--If you cannot keep your pet, take it to your local animal shelter or humane society—only after you have exhausted all possibility of having it adopted by someone you know and trust and preferably by someone the dog already knows, so that the pet does not feel abandoned.
--Check the background and facilities of anyone who claims to be a “rescuer.” Unfortunately,“dog flippers” sometimes pose as “rescuers.”
--Do not advertise a pet free or at a very low cost on Craigslist or any other publication
SERIAL OFFENDERS OFTEN PRACTICE ON ANIMALS
Authorities state that the Williford case came to law enforcement’s attention after an unnamed person stayed with Williford. Reportedly the person was threatened by Williford after disclosing that he would report the abuse to authorities. The individual stated that he did fear for his life, but reported Williford anyway, USA Today reports.
In his 1995 book, "The Mind Hunter,'' FBI criminal profiler John Douglas tells us that a new type of violent criminal has surfaced - the serial offender, who learns by experience and tends to get better and better at what he does.''
Douglas notes that these criminals' earliest act of violence is often the torture and/or killing of pets or wildlife, graduating to brutalizing younger siblings before taking intensified perversities into the streets or engaging in domestic violence.
Unimpeded acts of violence beget acts of increased violence. To the depraved person who feels powerful and in control only while inflicting pain or death, that "high'' must continually be sustained by more heinous or morbid acts.
When you read about a sadistic crime against an animal, remember that the perpetrator may be just warming up. The next victim could be someone you know and love.
Don't place your pets in danger. Like your children, they depend on you for protection from those who derive pleasure from harming the innocent and the helpless.
Ingham County Animal Control reminds us that, "People give away all kinds of things for free on Craigslist, but your pet should not be one of them.”