43-year-old Hozae Lamar Milton was arrested Friday, November 16 and charged with killing a dog or cat with intent to sell or give away pelt. Neighbors told police they saw Milton skinning a dog in his front yard.
Hozae Lamar Milton
JACKSONVILLE, Fla--- The alleged dog skinner arrested Friday is being held with no bond on a third degree felony. That felony charge is for killing a dog or cat with the intent to sell or give away the pelt . Some neighbors are outraged and believe these animals may have been area strays.
"Stray dogs that used to roam around your neighborhood were going missing?," asks First Coast News.
"Right, and you don't really see them," says Teri Wakefield, the suspect's neighbor.
A horrific scene for some Brentwood residents after they say they witnessed their neighbor, 43-year-old Hozae Lamar Milton skin a dead dog in his front yard. The police report says officers responded after receiving the complaints from residents on West 36 Street that two animal pelts were hanging from the suspect's fence.
"A little scary, you know with so much going on. It was," says Wakefield.
Those witnesses did not want to go on-camera for fear of revealing their identities, but the police report says they told officers that they had seen Milton pushing around a shopping cart with what they believed was a dead dog, the same dog they think they saw being skinned the next day.
Police found the pelts hanging in clear view and found paws and an unidentified animal's ear on the property, they say that after making contact with Milton, he became highly aggressive.
"A person that you stand clear of, you just pick up a sense that something is not right so," says Wakefield as she described Milton.
Andrea Cassman with Friends of Clay County Animals says she's seen a lot of strays coming into shelters in all sorts of conditions and finds this alleged crime extremely disturbing.
"I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised, but I am horrified and shocked and I think people need to be arrested and held accountable for it," says Andrea Cassman, Friends of Clay County Animals, Inc.
Milton could face a fine of 10-thousand dollars and jail time if convicted on the third degree felony charge.
Animal advocacy groups advise people not to turn the other way if they see a stray, if possible try to safely catch the dog or cat and try to find their owner or if needed call animal services, but having any animal become a stray is not only dangerous for the animal, but also for other pets or small children in residential areas.
First Coast News