TACOMA, Wash. – A man accused of having sex with the family dog has been charged under the state’s new animal cruelty law, which makes bestiality a felony, a prosecutor said.
Michael Patrick McPhail, 26, of nearby Spanaway, pleaded not guilty Thursday to one count of first-degree animal cruelty in Pierce County Superior Court.
Assistant Pierce County Prosecutor Karen Watson said McPhail was the first person in Pierce County to be charged with the new bestiality offense.
She said the dog was taken by animal control.
McPhail posted $20,000 bail on Friday.
Judge Katherine Stolz has set a trial date of Dec. 11.
McPhail’s wife told investigators that she found her husband on their back porch Wednesday night having intercourse with their 4-year-old female pit bull terrier, the Pierce County sheriff’s office report said. The dog was squealing and crying, according to charging papers.
The woman took photos with her cell phone and called the sheriff’s office.
Calls to McPhail’s public defender, David Katayama, were not immediately returned Friday.
The bestiality law, which took effect in June, was prompted by a case near Enumclaw in which a Seattle man died after having sex with a horse. Before the law was enacted, Washington was one of 14 states where bestiality had not been explicitly prohibited.