Couple of College Hill animal cruelty case plead guilty

Three first-degree charges of animal cruelty

BRANDON WILLMAN, Editor-in-chief

On Friday, a Pullman couple who was charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty pleaded guilty in front of Judge Gary Libey of Whitman County Superior Court.

The pair of 20-year-old Sydney Weston and 22-year-old Carson Hammer plead guilty to three counts of felony first-degree animal cruelty, according to Pullman Radio.

In March, the investigation into the two began as the police found the following dead animals: one dog, four sugar gliders, three ferrets, one rat, one mouse, one bearded dragon, one gecko, and one ball python, as well as nine animals who were still alive, according to a Pullman Police Department press release. 

The nine surviving animals were brought to Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman and all made full recoveries, according to Pullman Radio.

The animals were allegedlybrought to the apartment from Weston’s place of work, Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, according to Pullman Radio.

VTH officials confirmed to Pullman Radio that Weston was employed as a service worker last year from April to August but found no evidence that Weston took any animals from the hospital.

“She’s trying to help animals that are high-risk animals. It’s not just taking in entirely healthy animals, these are animals coming from the vet hospital,” defense attorney Roger Sandberg said in court.

Weston was the primary caregiver of all the animals, who is set to be sentenced on Dec. 9, following the conduction of a mental evaluation, according to Pullman Radio.

As for Hammer, in his testimony, he said that he had never intended to kill the animals and rather, he was fascinated by them.

“None of this was intentional, I did love all of these animals dearly. I found them all fascinating,” Hammer said.

Despite there being 13 dead animals and nine more hurt, only three charges were pleaded guilty as the Whitman County Prosecutor’s office dropped further charges in exchange for the pleas, according to Pullman Radio.