A 36-year-old Navy veteran has been arrested in Oceanside in connection with the torture of two huskies and the death of a third dog who was taken later from the same home and whose body has not been found.
David Herbert, 36, was taken into custody Wednesday morning at his home on Carino Way, Oceanside police said.
He is accused in the torture of two huskies named Estrella and Cocayo who were brutally attacked inside their own home on the same street on April 28. Bussey said the gates of the two homes are next to each other.
One of the dogs had its eyes gouged out and the other was forced to drink a caustic liquid. The family, who also had the tires of a vehicle slashed, moved out right after the assault.
The dogs have since recovered.
A new family moved into the same house and on May 30 they reported that both of their dogs were missing. One of the animals returned home but the other, a golden retriever mix named Lala, did not.
Police now say they believe Herbert took the dog from the family’s home and subjected her to a “violent assault which caused injury.”
Police spokesman Tom Bussey said evidence led investigators to believe the dog was killed. Bussey said Lala was the beloved pet of the family’s 8-year-old daughter.
“This girl is just devastated,” Bussey said.
Investigators searched Herbert’s home in July and executed another warrant Wednesday. He was arrested without incident, officials said. Bussey said Herbert’s house was put up for sale just today.
The warrant gave police permission to seize clothing and electronics and also to search the back yard with a cadaver dog.
Herbert was booked into jail on several charges including animal abuse, using a deadly weapon in the commission of a felony, residential burglary, vandalism and petty theft. If convicted, he could spend 16 years in prison, police said.
Herbert served six years in the Navy and received an honorable discharge. Police have not disclosed a motive for the crimes.