A Thurston County man has been accused of choking and beating his girlfriend’s dog to death.
David N. Gibson, 32, appeared Tuesday in Thurston County Superior Court on one count of first-degree animal cruelty. Bail was set at $1,500. Arraignment was set for Feb. 2.
Court documents give the following account:
A Thurston County Sheriff’s deputy responded Monday to a report that Gibson was suicidal. Prior to arriving at the home, the deputy learned that an animal control officer tried to locate and arrest Gibson on probable cause for animal cruelty.
At the scene, Gibson told the deputy he killed the dog because he “snapped.” Gibson said he had been in the kitchen making food when he dropped gravy on the 3-year-old rat terrier named Gurl. When he tried to give the 9-pound dog a bath, the dog nipped at him. Gibson told the deputy he then choked the dog and slammed her against the tub.
Gibson said the dog was still alive after that, but he later choked her again after she nipped at him. He said he tried to give the dog CPR after noticing she wasn’t breathing, then took the dog to a veterinarian.
After Tuesday’s hearing, Thurston County animal control officer Erika Johnson told The Olympian the dog was dead by the time Gibson reached the veterinarian. The veterinarian notified Animal Control.
“The dog had bruising everywhere,” Johnson told The Olympian, noting the rat terrier’s small size. “The dog had no chance.”
Gibson was previously diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following three deployments to the Middle East as a U.S. Navy corpsman, according to friends and family who contacted The Olympian. As a corpsman, he provided medical aid to U.S. Marines during combat.