Matthew Davonn Weatherspoon defended himself in an interview with 9Wants to Know on Wednesday night. He says he knifed the American Bulldog puppy in the face in self defense.
The puppy, Diamond, is recovering at the VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital where she is still in intensive care after surgery.
Weatherspoon doesn't deny he nearly cut the dog's face off with a knife. Through a videophone at the Denver Jail, he claimed the dog attacked him and cornered him in his apartment.
"I can imagine [people are angry], but no one knows what goes on behind closed doors," he said. "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."
Weatherspoon, who is being held for investigation of felony animal cruelty, says he had no choice but to defend himself.
"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," he said.
He does not have any visible bite marks but he says he does have injuries.
"I do," he said. "She chipped my tooth. And my arm's all scratched up."
Weatherspoon says he keeps picturing the dog's face and feels horrible about what he did, but repeatedly defended his actions. He insisted that he has always been, and still is, a dog person.
"You should not have to be on the brink of death for it to be called self defense," he said.
VCA Alameda East spokesperson Laura Immel says they have received hundreds of phone calls and emails from people interested in Diamond, but the dog is not available for adoption.
They have also received about $1,000 in donations, but are still short of the money needed to cover the dog's medical bills.
The Denver Municipal Animal Shelter and Colorado's Helping Hands Foundation is helping to cover the medical expenses. If you wish to help her and other animals in similar situations, you can make a donation at HelpingCritters.org.
Weatherspoon has a criminal history that includes charges for assault, resisting arrest and drug possession.
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