The Pullman couple charged with animal cruelty after over a dozen dead animals were found inside their College Hill apartment have pleaded guilty.
20 year old Sydney Weston and 22 year old Carson Hammer each pleaded guilty to 3 counts of felony 1st degree animal cruelty in Whitman County Superior Court on Friday. The case began in March when Pullman Police responded to a report of dead animals inside the couple’s apartment. Pullman Police executed a search warrant on the residence and found 13 dead animals including a dog and ferrets. Police rescued 9 animals including dogs and cats. Those animals were found in very poor condition with some of them near death. The rescued animals were treated at the Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman. All of those animals survived.
Hammer’s defense attorney Roger Sandberg told Judge Gary Libey during Friday’s hearing that the animals were brought home by Weston from the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital where she worked. You can listen to Sandberg’s testimony in court by clicking on the audio file below.
Hammer told Judge Libey before sentencing that he wasn’t intending to harm the animals. You can listen to his courtroom testimony by clicking on the audio file below.
Hammer was sentenced to a month in jail, placed on probation for a year and ordered to undergo a mental evaluation. Hammer was also ordered to pay half of the 10,000 dollars in restitution that’s owed to the Pullman PD and humane society.
All of the attorneys in court on Friday told Judge Libey that Weston was the primary caregiver for the animals. She is set to be sentenced on December 9th after she undergoes a mental evaluation.
The Whitman County Prosecutor’s Office dropped additional animal cruelty counts against the couple in exchange for the pleas.
Pullman Radio News reached out to the press office of the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital for a response to today’s courtroom testimony. Vet med officials confirm that Weston was employed as a service worker last year from April to August. Weston was a service worker assigned to clean the kennels. Vet med officials say they have no evidence to confirm that Weston took any animals from the teaching hospital.