Thomas Huggins, Fla. man, killed and cooked family dog, police say

Thomas Elliot Huggins

(CBS) TAMPA, Fla. - Thomas Elliot Huggins, 25, of Tampa, Fla., is facing animal cruelty charges after he allegedly killed his family's dog and cut it up for future meals, CBS affiliate WTSP reports.

PICTURES: Crimes against Animals (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

Investigators say Huggins strangled the young pit bull mix pup on Thursday morning. They say he then chopped the animal into quarters and put the remains in the freezer, according to the station.

A family member reportedly alerted authorities after learning what happened. Arriving officers say they found the dog's ribs cooked in a pot on the stove and the animal's head was in the garbage, the station reports.

An investigator with Hillsborough Animal Services told WTSP that Huggins "expertly" cut the animal apart and that this may not be the first time he has done this. According to the arrest report, Huggins learned how to clean an animal from his mother and had done it in the past with squirrels and rabbits.

Relatives of Huggins reportedly told police that his behavior had been getting progressively worse over the past several years. The station reports his mother claims the problems began when Huggins began smoking marijuana. She said "something happened" and that her son "flipped out" and hasn't been the same since.

Huggins is charged for the inhumane and cruel killing of the dog and was being held on a $2,000 bond, according to the station.