Victoria Marie Spencer, a 20-year-old Marine from Beaufort’s Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), has been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after neglecting five pets she was paid to care for. Hired through the online service Trusted Housesitters, Spencer allegedly failed to visit the Hilton Head man’s house for over five days, resulting in the death of a dog from starvation and significant neglect to the other animals.
1. Arrest and Charges: Victoria Marie Spencer was arrested at MCAS Beaufort for reportedly neglecting two dogs and three cats she had agreed to look after. She faces three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty for the cats and two felony counts for the dogs.
2. Discovery of Neglect: The homeowner, while on vacation, checked his doorbell camera footage after not hearing from Spencer and found that she hadn’t visited the house for five to six days. One dog was found dead due to starvation, and the other showed signs of injury from trying to escape its cage. The cats were found hungry but unharmed.
3. Statement from Trusted Housesitters: The online pet-sitting platform expressed deep condolences, emphasizing that pet safety is their top priority. The company is now liaising with the Sheriff’s Office and will review its vetting procedures.
4. Vetting Process: Trusted Housesitters mandates comprehensive background checks for all pet sitters, encompassing criminal history, ID verification, and reference checks. Spencer’s account has been removed from the platform.
5. Circumstances of Neglect: The two dogs were confined in kennels with food and water just out of reach, leading to one’s death from starvation. The cats, left to roam the house, weren’t fed and had a litter box overflowing with waste.