EVERETT — A dead puppy was found in a Vans shoebox outside of a house in Monroe last April.
Inside the house were nine more puppies, all of them sick and malnourished. By the end of the month, four more starved to death.
They were under the care of William Allingham, 30. On Thursday, he was sentenced to a year and one month in prison.
He pleaded guilty in December to first-degree animal cruelty and illegal possession of a firearm as a felon. There also were two counts of eluding police from unrelated incidents.
“Mr. Allingham appeared to have the means and ability to care for these animals, but he didn’t,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Tyler Scott said at Thursday’s hearing.
Public defender Sarah Johnson argued that the defendant didn’t neglect the puppies out of malice. He has a lifelong love of animals, she said, and his mother has been a veterinarian for as long as he could remember.
The Superior Court judge interjected: He didn’t feed the puppies though they were clearly sick.
Back in April, Monroe police found Allingham at his house, talking on the phone to his mother. He said the dogs were sick and foaming at the mouth. He said he was going to bury one that had just died with “the other one” in the back yard.
Allingham held one of the puppies in his hands while he talked to police. It stopped breathing.
“I think the puppy just died,” an officer said, according to court papers.
Allingham shook the dog. He claimed it was still alive.
In a police report, officers noted that the puppies were “whimpering, barely moving, lethargic and appeared in pain.” They looked malnourished as well. One puppy’s ribs and spine showed through its skin and fur. They were kept in a playpen that was littered with waste.
An officer offered to take them to the vet, but Allingham said no, he would do so himself. He just needed to fix his truck, he said. He said he would take them to a shelter.
Police called the shelter later that day. The receptionist said they never heard from the man.
Officers obtained a judge’s permission to search Allingham’s house. They found drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine and ammunition, along with a Springfield M1A rifle that had been stolen from a home in Granite Falls earlier that year.
Police took the puppies to a veterinarian’s office, where two of them passed away from starvation. The veterinarian said it would have taken several days without any food or water for them to die like they did.
If they had limited access, they could have survived for weeks.
The other puppies were sick as well, but made quick recoveries after being fed. They were eventually adopted.
The judge on Thursday ordered Allingham to pay $1,832 to the Everett Animal Shelter for medical costs related to their care. Allingham declined to speak at the hearing.