The one thing to be grateful for was that the pair didn’t have access to more animals to abuse.
But a new, even more disturbing case in the Sunshine State allows no such consolation.
A South Florida veterinarian has been charged with sexually abusing dogs and possession of child pornography.
Prentiss Madden, 40, appeared in court Wednesday, where he was ordered to be held pending a bond hearing, news station WTVJ reported.
His arrest follows the launch of a federal investigation after the file hosting service Dropbox alerted authorities to a user with more than 1,600 files of suspected child pornography.
The files were traced to an IP address registered to Madden’s home in Aventura, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Wednesday.
During a raid of the property on Feb. 24, Homeland Security agents found files in which Madden discussed “the sexual abuse of animals and children”, as well as multiple photos and videos depicting bestiality, the complaint states.
One explicit video appeared to have been filmed at Caring Hands Animal Hospital in Miami, where Madden served as medical director.
He was fired from the role two weeks ago after colleagues learned he was under investigation.
“This leads me to believe that Madden may be abusing animals entrusted to his care,” Agent Leah Ortiz wrote in the complaint.
Caring Hands Animal Hospital said in a statement that they were “appalled by the nature of the charges,” describing their former employee’s alleged crimes as “heinous and unthinkable.”
“Our legal team and every single member of the Caring Hands family will be doing everything in our power to aid law enforcement and facilitate their investigation and prosecution,” they said in a statement provided to WTVJ.
Animal rescuer Lindsay Donzanti told CBS4 that she had entrusted her pets to Madden’s care and recommended him to dozens of people.
“I’m outraged and I am saddened. I can’t even say I was gullible but there were no signs, no signs whatsoever,” she said.
“He was the kindest, sweetest person,” Donzanti added. “That’s why it is so inconceivable. He had a really soft manner. You could see he treated the animals with love.”
Too much love, it now seems.
Madden has been charged under a 2019 federal law outlawing the video production of animal abuse. He faces up to 37 years in prison, if convicted.
Madden is back in court Friday to learn whether he will be held in jail until his trial.