Jason Wilmert, 35, was arrested Monday on charges of animal cruelty and "animals commonly kept as pets or companions; use as food." Wilmert allegedly skinned, cooked and ate his pet cat.
Neighbor Joe Nuno went outside to investigate a strange noise. "I heard a cat cry," he told KBAK-TV, Bakersfield, Calif. "It was a weird cry, real loud." He saw Wilmert had started a fire in his backyard. "I smelled cooking. It smelled like some awful meat."
Another neighbor told police she saw Wilmert holding the cat by the tail and skinning it alive.
Wilmert is being held in violation of a 1989 law banning the use of companion animals for food. He also had an outstanding warrant for charges of littering, resisting arrest and "unauthorized agricultural burning." His bail has been set at $15,000.