Man Who Cooked, Ate His Own Dog Convicted of Animal Cruelty

By Aditi Mukherji, JD on November 22, 2013 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A Florida man who killed, cooked, and ate his dog -- yes, cooked and ate -- was convicted of felony animal cruelty.

But here's the kicker: the jury didn't even get to hear about the latter experimental culinary part, only about the killing.

Hannibal Lecter in the Dog House

Thomas Huggins says his dog, Bandit, was getting aggressive, and he couldn't sell her because she was a pit bull mix, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

So he did the most logical thing: according to police, he wrapped his hands around the dog's neck and strangled her to death.

But Huggins clarified that he used a plastic garbage bag to suffocate Bandit, but he had to try twice because she got away the first time. Oy vey.

Stomach turning yet? Too bad, because we're just getting started...

'The Evidence Came in Four Different Bags'

After suffocating Bandit, Huggins proceeded to skin her, remove the insides of her, decapitate her, and dismember her with a steak knife, according to Officer Thomas Ferrell's testimony, reports the Sentinel.

You should probably situate yourself beside a toilet for the next part...

When police arrived at Huggins' house, they found the dog's ribs cooking in a pot on the stove and discovered other body parts in the freezer; the head and skin were in the trash.

Veterinarian Bill Zingalie testified he couldn't determine the exact cause of death because of the state of the remains: "[t]he evidence came in four different bags," he said.

Felony Animal Cruelty

The evidence of Huggins cooking and eating Bandit was inadmissible because it lacked relevance.

According to the Sentinel, Circuit Judge Samantha Ward granted defense motions to limit the evidence because what happened to the dog after it died couldn't be considered cruel because the animal couldn't feel it. (Doesn't she remember that all dogs go to heaven? Single tear.)

Nevertheless, after about an hour of deliberating, the jury found Huggins guilty of animal cruelty. The cruel nature of Bandit's strangulation resulted in a third-degree felony which carries a maximum of five years in prison.

From stuffing puppies in Ziploc bags to blowing dogs up, the canine cruelty madness needs to stop. Leave the pups alone -- or better yet, holiday-gift them to the FindLaw staff (i.e., me). But, um, don't mail them.

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