Jonathan Ford appeared to be a man overwhelmed by compassion, rescuing as many stray dogs as he could in his own “I Love Lucy Pet Rescue” shelter out of his Hattieville, Arkansas, home. But police now say that Ford had a very different motivation for taking in the desperate animals — that his love of animals wasn’t driven by his desire for the helpless creatures’ well-being, but by his own demented perversion.
On Wednesday, June 10, Pope County Sheriff’s deputies received information claiming that a person was engaged in sexual relations with a dog. The deputies went to Ford’s home and investigated. While they haven’t yet said what evidence they turned up, it was clearly enough to arrest the 32-year-old, who now faces a charge of bestiality — that is, having sex with an animal — which is a Class A misdemeanor offense in Arkansas.
The dog who was allegedly attacked by Ford was taken by the deputies and placed in another, presumably more reputable, animal shelter.
UPDATE: On June 29, Ford appeared in court on a new charge, conspiracy to commit burglary — at the same Russellville Animal Shelter that now houses the dog he is accused of sexually assaulting. According to reports, Ford wanted to steal back the dog, presumably for purposes of committing bestiality with the animal again.
Sadly — and strangely — cases of human beings engaging in sexual acts with dogs are not as unusual as one would hope they would be. For example, earlier this year a man in the United Kingdom recorded himself sexually attacking the pet dog he shared with his girlfriend — an offense that came to light when he accidentally sent her the video.
Also, in February, a man in Palm Beach County, Florida, was captured by home surveillance cameras engaged in sick sexual acts with the family chihuahua. And those stories are just two of the more recent documented examples of bestiality incidents.
But in none of the other recent cases was the alleged offender actually collecting his canine victims by operating what appeared to be a legitimate animal rescue service.
According to animal rescue worker Kimberly Bodle, there was photographic evidence of Ford’s inhuman sexual activity with dogs, as well. In fact, according to Bodle who says she saw the pictures and alerted police, Ford took the photos himself.
“The pictures were graphic pictures depicting Jonathan Ford engaging in sexual activity with the dogs in his care,” she wrote on petition calling for Ford to be punished. “We were also made aware that he allowed the dogs to penetrate him as well.”
The allegations against Jonathan Ford left neighbors, as well as others involved in animal rescue in Arkansas, shocked — but not entirely surprised.
“We kind of stay away from people like that, so we didn’t really get into his business and into his rescue,” said the owner of another private shelter, Clarissa Riedmueller of Morrilton, Arkansas.
Riedmuller, who said that Ford seemed “different” to her, told KTHV News that Ford had reached out to her twice in recent months via Facebook messages, looking for dogs that he could house in his “I Love Lucy” shelter.
“He was always out to get any kind of dog very quickly. He didn’t ask a lot of the normal rescue questions that we would, what’s their temperament, things like that. He was just going ‘Hey, I’ll take and help. I’ll help.’ I like the part that he was trying to help, it’s just not knowing what he was doing behind the scenes.”
Riedmuller said that even though Jonathan Ford struck her as odd, she was still “sickened” when she found out what police now say he was doing with the dogs behind closed doors.
[Image: Facebook via New York Daily News]