OGDEN — Ogden police have arrested a man who was wanted on felony charges in the deadly torture of two pets.
According to Weber County Jail booking records, Bruce Anthony Saunders, 33, was jailed Tuesday afternoon.
That was just hours after a 2nd District Court judge signed an arrest warrant based on charges filed against Saunders by the Weber County Attorney’s Office.
Saunders had been under investigation since police arrived at a bloody scene June 7 where a dog and a cat lay dead in a bathtub, victims of extensive wounds and partial dismemberment.
The former Ogden man, now described by police as homeless, is charged with two counts of third-degree felony torture of a companion animal and one count of class A criminal mischief.
Saunders’ girlfriend at the time called police to report that she found him in their apartment injured, possibly deceased.
Officers said in an arrest warrant filed this week that they spoke to Saunders and then found large amounts of blood in the apartment.
They first found a bloody baseball bat in the living room and then discovered the remains of a dog and a cat in the tub. Both had extensive lacerations and the cat had been partially dismembered.
The warrant said Saunders told officers he “chopped them up” and “ate their hearts.”
Necropsies were performed on the animals by the Utah Veterinary Diagnostic Lab, which reported back to police that the pets suffered many wounds prior to death.
The state code defines domestic dogs and cats as companion animals protected by the animal cruelty law.
A third-degree felony torture charge is justified when a perpetrator “intentionally or knowingly causes or inflicts extreme physical pain to an animal in an especially heinous, atrocious, cruel or exceptionally depraved manner,” the law says.
Police had responded to the same apartment the day before after Saunders severed one of his fingers, according to the warrant.
It was unclear what led to the pets’ torture.
“We don’t diagnose mental health,” Lt. Michael Boone, head of investigations for the Ogden Police Department, said Wednesday.
Saunders was held in lieu of $12,500 bail pending his first court appearance.
Court records show Saunders’ former girlfriend obtained a protective order against him on July 17.