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A Washington state man faces prosecution for bestiality under a new animal cruelty law after his wife discovered him having sex with the family's pit bull terrier, kirotv.com reports.

According to the Pierce County sheriff's office report, Michael Patrick McPhail, 26, of Spanaway, Pierce County, was caught red-handed last Wednesday night "having intercourse with their four-year-old female pit bull terrier" on the couple's back porch. The dog was "squealing and crying", charging papers note.

The unnamed wife quickly "took photos with her cell phone and called the sheriff's office". McPhail was duly hauled before the local Superior Court last Thursday where he pleaded not guilty to one count of first-degree animal cruelty. He posted $20,000 bail, and is set to appear before the court on 11 December.

Assistant Pierce County prosecutor Karen Watson said McPhail was "the first person in Pierce County to be charged with the new bestiality offense". The new law came into force in June and was "prompted by a case near Enumclaw in which a Seattle man died after having sex with a horse". Washington was previously "one of 14 states where bestiality had not been explicitly prohibited".

Watson added that the dog was "taken by animal control". ®

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