Matthew Weatherspoon Stabbed His American Bulldog In The Face, Arrested (UPDATE)
A five-month-old American Bulldog puppy named Diamond had to undergo three hours of surgery after her owner stabbed her in the face five times.
Weatherspoon is reportedly now in protective custody after being threatened by other inmates, and the Denver District Attorney's office has decided to press charges.
Weatherspoon will be officially charged with one count of aggravated animal cruelty to animals, a class six felony. His bond has been set at $2,000 and he is due in court next week.
In a videophone interview at Denver Detention Center, Weatherspoon told 9News:
I can imagine [people are angry], but no one knows what goes on behind closed doors. I'm angry at myself too, but I had no clue what to do at the time. I was panicking. It was either fight or flight. That's what went through my mind.
The only people who can sympathize with me are the people who have been attacked by animals. I'm not a crocodile hunter. I don't know how to deal with animal attacks other than to defend myself.
Weatherspoon also claims that Diamond, the bulldog he says he stabbed, cornered him in his apartment, chipped his tooth and scratched his arms.
Diamond meanwhile remains in intensive care and could stay there for a week.
From the Denver Post:
The hospital and the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter have received more than 100 phone calls from people asking about adopting Diamond.
Kelley said it will likely be awhile before Diamond is stable enough for adoption. The shelter will make an announcement if and when the puppy is put up for adoption.
Donations are being accepted to help pay for Diamond's surgery through the Colorado Helping Hands Foundation.
Matthew Weatherspoon, 19, was arrested by Denver police Monday afternoon on suspicion of aggravated animal cruelty. Aggravated animal cruelty is a felony that includes a minimum fine of $1,000, a 90-day stay in jail, and anger management class attendance may be required if convicted.
Director of Denver Animal Care and Control Doug Kelley told the Denver Post that the owner, Weatherspoon, became so angry when his dog bit him that he allegedly stabbed her in the face five times and then put her outside because she was bleeding on the carpet.
From the Denver Post:
The puppy's owner, who had no visible bite marks, threw the puppy outside because he was mad the dog was bleeding in the apartment, Kelley said.
The puppy was found wandering near the apartment and was immediately taken to Alameda East Veterinary Hospital. After 3 hours of surgery the puppy was placed in an oxygen tent and is expected to survive.
Hospital spokeswoman Lauren Immel told 9News that Diamond "is an absolute doll, very sweet."
"We've been in the emergency care business since 1971 and seen almost everything, but you can't help but have a case like this really pull at your heart strings," Immel said.