Timothy King, who was convicted along with his wife on a combined 93 counts of animal cruelty in February 2009, was recently hired through a temp agency by the Little Rock Zoo. King worked under the supervision of his father, a zoo employee. When the Times inquired, Susan Altrui, a spokesperson for the Little Rock Zoo, said they were unaware of his previous conviction and provided the following statement.
The Little Rock Zoo does not condone cruelty to animals in any way. Timothy King is not a full-time or part-time employee of the Zoo but is a worker for Command Center: Command Labor. The Little Rock Zoo often uses workers from the Command Center to assist with maintenance and construction projects. Little Rock Zoo Director Mike Blakely said he was not aware that Timothy King was convicted of animal cruelty and is handling the matter appropriately.
When asked if King would be allowed to work at the zoo in the future, Altrui replied, “The Little Rock Zoo will not allow any employee or Command Labor worker convicted of animal abuse to work at the Zoo.”
Timothy and Alisha King were arrested after a raid on their puppy mill near Lonsdale in October of 2008, when animal cruelty could only be considered a misdemeanor. The state now has a felony statute for certain offenses. A Times cover story from January of 2009 described the conditions there and the rescue of one of the pups, Timothy, who was featured on our cover.
[Pulaski County Humane Society Director Kay] Simpson, other certified animal inspectors and deputies from the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, found 40 dogs packed into a tiny 12-by-20-foot windowless shed, some crowded into cages stacked on top of one another. Urine and feces surrounded the dogs, there was little to no clean water for them to drink and their food was infested with maggots and other filth.