Man pleads guilty to animal cruelty for amputating dog's leg with steak knife

A Hamtramck man pleaded guilty to animal cruelty Thursday for using a steak knife to amputate his dog's leg. 

Charles Wofford accepted a plea deal, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty while the count of animal torturing was dismissed. Under the agreement, he is expected to be sentenced to probation, and will not be allowed to own animals. He would also be ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation and follow any recommended treatment.

During the proceeding, Wofford told the judge on April 25 in Hamtramck, he amputated his dog's leg with a steak knife because the foot was infected with gangrene after Blackie had gotten into a fight with another dog.

Dog's leg amputated with garden shears, kitchen knife in Hamtramck

"The foot was deplorable. It was a matter of five days. It was completely rotten, you could see the bone all the way around his foot," he said.

Wofford told the judge that he and his daughter were very attached to the dog, who they had for 7 years. He said his daughter called the Humane Society for help, but they were told they would likely euthanize the dog. He said a vet told him it would be $750, which he didn't have.

Admitting he has no medical training, he said he used Novocaine and hydrogen peroxide. Previous reports indicate Wofford said he used gardening shears to cut off the black lab's right back leg, which he denied during Thursday's proceeding. 

The dog was handed over to the Humane Society and recovered. Prosecutors said that it was adopted, but due to the level of trauma it suffered he was unable to adjust to new homes. They said that attempts to train and help him did not work, and he was euthanized.

"I get the feeling from you that you don't think that you did anything wrong," the judge said.

Owner unable to afford surgery uses tooth numbing gel, amputates dog's leg

Wofford said he doesn't believe he did.

"I believe it was something that had to be done otherwise I think the dog would've lost his life," he said.

The judge said it needed to be done by a veterinarian. 

"I didn't have $750 at the time," he said. "I had to take immediate action."

He previously spoke with reporters, saying the dog was in no pain at all. He says he kept the dog's amputated leg in a plastic bag and handed it over to the humane society when they took the dog.

"I used tooth ache medicine for your gums for teething, I put that around there. I was able to cut around the bone as clean as possible and I was eventually able to take the leg off," he said.

Wofford is expected to be sentenced January 24.