San Diego

Veteran Found Guilty of Abusing Next Door Neighbor's Huskies

Surveillance video and dog DNA discovered on a bat inside the defendant’s home are key pieces of evidence

Warning: the details of this story may disturb some.

A veteran accused of violently abusing his neighbors' huskies was found guilty on multiple animal cruelty counts Friday.

David Herbert, 36, an honorably discharged disabled Navy veteran, was arrested after a months-long investigation led police to his home. He was found guilty on six animal cruelty charges involving disfiguration and torture.

He is accused in the brutal torture of two Huskies and the death of a golden retriever. He was accused of dumping acid on the dogs, gouging out one of their eyes and taking a Golden Retriever named Lala from another family.

That dog has since been presumed dead. Herbert was found guilty of felony animal cruelty in connection with Lala's death.

An Oceanside police sergeant testified that surveillance video and dog DNA discovered on a bat inside the defendant’s home are key pieces of evidence against Herbert.

Surveillance video that showed Herbert's car leaving the cul de sac where Lala lived with her family on the day of her disappearance was a turning point in the case, the sergeant said.

When the police zoomed in the video, the sergeant testified he saw Lala in the back of Herbert's car looking out the window.

Lala's owner testified about the last day she saw her dog. An Oceanside police detective testified that police found blood in the defendant's car that matched Lala's DNA. There was also saliva from one of the tortured Huskies found on the defendant's car window.

The owner of the huskies choked back tears as she testified about the moment she came home and found her two dogs brutally hurt inside her home.

One of Herbert's neighbors also got into a verbal altercation with him about the volume of her TV in a separate incident. About a week later, she walked out to find all the tires of her car slashed.

Herbert served six years in the U.S. Navy.

Police linked Herbert to six reported criminal cases, where two separate residents of the same home were victimized. 

Oceanside police first began investigating a series of criminal events happening on Carino Way in April. A family living at the home decided to move after their two Huskies were assaulted, police said. 

Soon, new residents moved into the home with their two dogs. On May 30, police said, the neighbors reported both their dogs missing from their home. 

Herbert was also found guilty on four counts of misdemeanor vandalism and one count of burglary. He faces up to 16 years in prison.

His sentencing is scheduled for October 1.

Contact Us