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A Tampa man killed a family dog, cut it up in quarters, and put the pieces into the freezer Thursday night, according to Tampa Police.
They arrested Thomas Elliot Huggins, 25, of Tampa on Friday morning. Officers said he strangled the 6-month-old pit bull mix named Bandit in the morning, quartered the dog with a steak knife and froze it. His mother came home Thursday night and found a pot of the dog's ribs cooking on the stove.
"I feel sick to my stomach right now," said neighbor John Pisacane.
Pisacane gave Huggins the dog back in February. His dog, Coco, is Bandit's mother.
"It's almost like hurting a baby. If I knew that, I'd never have given it to him in the first place," Pisacane said.
When TPD officers arrived at the house to arrest Huggins, they found the dog's head, hide and insides in the garbage and its ribs in a pot. According to the police report, Huggins ate some of the cooked dog meat.
Neighbor Nickloa Davis often saw the little black and white dog outside. She said it was a friendly dog that always wanted to play with her dog, Smoke.
"It was the cutest little dog," she said.
Davis said the dog, which she describes as a pit bull mix, didn't appear malnourished, but it was often left outside without water.
According to the police arrest report, Huggins admitted to killing and dismembering the dog. He told police he had done it before with squirrels and rabbits and didn't see anything wrong with that.
But Davis said Huggins did not need to kill his dog for food.
"I've been to the food pantry, and the mother, I've seen her at the food pantry," Davis said. "So I know they didn't have to do that for food."
Authorities charged Huggins with felony cruelty to animals. His bond is set at $2,000 according to arrest records.