A Kentucky man who was arrested last month after allegedly skinning four of his neighbors’ dogs to make a “doggy coat” has been charged with animal torture among other crimes.
Jonathan D. Watkins, 38, was arrested in David – near the western border of West Virginia – on Dec. 23 after a neighbor called law enforcement.
The neighbor told police that Watkins had asked him for a cigarette and was covered in blood. After asking where the blood had come from, the neighbor claimed Watkins said he had been skinning dogs, according to an arrest citation.
The neighbor said he didn’t believe him at first because he knew Watkins had had mental issues. But, he later saw what looked like animal skins and dog carcasses on Watkins’ front porch, according to the citation. The neighbor told police he was missing two dogs and thought another neighbor was missing two dogs as well.
A state trooper who responded found Watkins at his home with “a large hunting knife” and what appeared to be blood on his clothing, according to an arrest report cited by WDRB.
When the trooper asked what the blood was, Watkins replied, “I’m making myself a doggy coat,” according to the arrest citation. Watkins allegedly told the trooper that he stabbed the dogs and then skinned them.
The trooper then asked Watkins if he killed his neighbors’ dogs, to which he replied: “Yes. There isn’t anything wrong with me making myself a fur coat,” WDRB reported.
During a Dec. 27 hearing, Floyd District Court Judge Jimmy R. Marcum appointed a public defender for Watkins and ordered him held without bond.
He also ordered Watkins to undergo a psychiatric examination, court records showed.
Watkins was facing four counts of torturing a dog or cat resulting in serious physical injury or death and two counts of tampering with physical evidence. He was being held in Kentucky’s Floyd County Detention Center.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.