Authorities are asking for the public’s help to locate a man suspected of drowning and killing a dog in June.
They are looking for 47-year-old William Meek of Sacramento. He currently has three outstanding warrants- two for drug charges, one for felony animal cruelty.
The horrendous act allegedly happened in mid-June. Robert Courtade was walking his dog with his kids along the American River near his home, when he said he saw a floating dog.
“I came upon what I thought was a couple of sticks, just kind of twisting in the water, and once we got closer, it was a pair of dog legs,” Courtade said.
He immediately tried to rescue the border collie, wanting to make it a teachable moment of compassion for his two young children. However, as he got closer, he knew there was no hope.
“I realized that the dog had been strangled pretty grotesquely and thrown into the water with a bowling ball bag tied around its neck,” Courtade said. “So it was a deliberate act of awful cruelty.”
Gina Knepp of Front Street Animal Shelter works with the City of Sacramento on Animal Cruelty cases. She said this was one of the most horrifying cases.
“There's no explanation for that. How could that possibly be humane or just,” Knepp asked.
Knepp said a few years ago, the dog had gone through their shelter. At the time, she was a happy dog named Zelda. When authorities discovered Zelda, they found her feet pointing upwards. Her head was under the surface, her body weighed down by a bag full or rocks and a 12 pound bowling ball.
After a necropsy- or an animal autopsy- the veterinarian determined there were obvious signs of trauma, struggle, and her lungs were full of water.
However, justice may come sooner than expected.
“This microchip helped us lead us to the suspect in this case,” Knepp said. “This animal was micro-chipped. Otherwise we would have had a dead-end case.”
Knepp said microchips are not only good for finding lost pets, but also to help authorities bring justice in cases like these. This microchip led to the owner, and the investigation led to William Meek.
Meek was supposed to be in Sacramento Superior Court for an arraignment for an unrelated drug charge this morning at 8:30, but never showed. He is now on Sacramento’s Most Wanted list, and the DA’s office is now asking for your help to find him.
“We need to get him arrested, and go to trial, unless he pleads guilty, we'll find out what happens. But right now, we just have to find him and get him into custody,” Knepp said.
At the end of the day, for Courtade, finding Zelda taught his children a lesson in compassion and cruelty.
“We had several conversations later that day and further in the week, letting them know that there are people that do bad things, and this is just a sick, cruel act, and if the guy gets caught, the punishment won’t be too severe in my opinion,” Courtade said.
If you find William Meek, contact Sacramento Alert at 916-443-HELP.